CME update: live cattle futures end mixed and feeders rise as corn prices falter

US live cattle futures closed mixed on 12 May, with the benchmark June contract easing in a light round of profit-taking.
calendar icon 13 May 2021
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Reuters reports that robust beef prices still underpin the market.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange June live cattle futures settled down 0.025 cent at 118.600 cents per pound, retreating after a climb to 119.425 cents, a three-week top near the contract's 50-day moving average.

Back-months closed mostly higher, with August up 0.275 cent at 122.325 cents.

In the wholesale beef market, choice cuts rose by $2.71 on 12 May to $315.08 per hundredweight (cwt), the highest in nearly a year, while select cuts rose $0.82 to $297.16 per cwt, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Analysts attributed the two-month climb in beef prices to the approach cwt of the US summer grilling season, coupled with the reopening of restaurants following the coronavirus pandemic and consumers flush with US government stimulus funds.

"Demand (for beef) is just off the charts," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities. However, he cautioned, prices may cool soon as retailers finish stocking meat cases ahead of the US Memorial Day weekend later this month and Fathers Day on 20 June.

"Some of these (retail buying) programs might be coming to an end. The beef market feels like you're getting into areas where there is some resistance," Roose said.

Meanwhile, CME feeder cattle futures jumped 1% to a two-week high, buoyed by a setback in the corn market that eased concerns about rising costs for feedgrains.

August feeders settled up 1.675 cents at 150.525 cents per pound.

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Source: Reuters

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