CME update: rally in live cattle futures pauses

US cattle futures closed lower on 30 March as traders paused to see if the cash cattle market would keep pace.
calendar icon 31 March 2021
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Reuters reports that strengthening wholesale beef prices have buoyed CME cattle futures since mid-March. However, the recent gains stalled during yesterday’s trading session.

Benchmark CME June live cattle futures ended down 0.425 cent at 122.225 cents per pound. CME May feeder cattle finished unchanged at 152.200 cents, paring gains after setting a contract high at 153.475 cents.

Market-ready cattle traded in the Plains cash markets last week at around $115 per cwt, up $1 from the previous week, and feedlots were seeking $118 to $120 this week, traders said. However, front-month April cattle futures are already trading at a premium to those levels, near the equivalent of $121.

"We are waiting for the cash to catch up," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities.
Beef prices continued to march higher, with choice cuts up $5.30 at $244.83 per cwt, according to the USDA. Select cuts rose $3.42 to $235.92 per cwt.

Consumer demand for pork and beef is rising as the summer grilling season approaches, and at the same time, the restaurant sector is stocking up in anticipation of a vaccine-driven economic recovery.

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Source: Reuters

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