CME update: cattle futures fall as pandemic accelerates across the US

US cattle futures fell on 7 December as cash beef prices weakened and increased COVID-19 infections sparked concerns about demand for meat.
calendar icon 8 December 2020
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Reuters reports that US’ accelerating coronavirus infection rates are prompting tight restrictions on restaurants and other food service outlets, threatening meat sales.

Meanwhile, renewed tensions between the United States and China, after fresh US sanctions on 14 Chinese officials, stirred fears of slower US meat exports to a growing importer of US beef.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange February live cattle futures fell 1.375 cents to 111.025 cents per pound, a two-week low. CME January feeder cattle futures were down 1.975 cents at 137.800 cents per pound.

Surging US coronavirus infections are triggering fresh restrictions around the country, from prohibitions on private gatherings of any size in California to a ban on indoor dining in New York City.

"The market sees what's happening in California with the COVID restrictions and everyone's worried that continues to spread around the country, with more restaurants closing," said Don Roose, president of US Commodities.

Sinking wholesale beef prices brought retailer demand into question.

After declining much of last week, the choice boxed beef cut-out dropped $4.22 to $230.80 per cwt on 7 December, while select cuts tumbled $8.03 to $209.48 per cwt, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

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Source: Reuters

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