CME update: cattle futures inch up as cash markets look more optimistic

US live cattle futures closed higher on 28 September, reversing their low opening as strong packer margins raised expectations for higher cash cattle trade for this week.
calendar icon 29 September 2020
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Reuters reports that average beef packer margins rose to $320.18 per head from $313.50 on Friday 25 September according to data from livestock marketing advisory service

"Cash cattle are probably up $1 (per cwt) this week, after being up $1 to $2 last week ... And we start to get into holiday buying again," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities, referring to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange October live cattle settled up 0.375 cent at 107.950 cents per pound and most-active December ended up 0.250 cent at 111.650 cents.

CME October feeder cattle settled up 0.600 cent at 140.925 cents per pound, and most-active November rose 0.950 to end at 141.100 cents.

Live cattle futures had tumbled at the open as traders responded to bearish feedlot data released by the US Department of Agriculture after the markets closed on 25 September. The USDA reported the number of US cattle on feed as of 1 September at 11.4 million head, or 104 percent of a year earlier, topping market estimates for 103.3 percent.

But futures rallied as traders shifted their focus to expectations for cash cattle and wholesale beef prices to rise.

"Strong domestic demand is giving us a little bit of help," Roose said.

Cattle futures also drew support from a higher close on Wall Street, which some traders associate with improving consumer demand for high-priced cuts of beef.

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Source: Reuters

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