Live cattle futures hit 2-month high - CME

Hog futures fall for a third straight session
calendar icon 22 April 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) jumped to a two-month high on Thursday, led by firming cash cattle markets and optimism about a seasonal climb in US beef demand as the summer grilling season nears, traders said.

CME June live cattle futures settled up 1.275 cents at 139.900 cents per pound after reaching 139.950, the contract's highest since February 24, reported Reuters

CME May feeder cattle futures ended up 2.375 cents at 164.850 cents per pound, drawing additional support as corn futures backed down from multi-year highs.

Market-ready cattle traded this week in Iowa and Nebraska cash markets at $146 per hundredweight with talk of a few trades as high as $147, up from trades around $138 in early April.

Farther south, fat cattle changed hands this week mostly at $140 per cwt, still up $1 from last week.

"You are seeing (meat) packers put better money on the table for cash cattle, and the futures are playing catch-up," said Dan Norcini, an in dependent livestock trader.

"We are getting into a higher beef demand period, and the weights on cattle are coming down. The leverage has shifted away from the packers," he added.

Boxed beef prices were mixed. Choice cuts rose $1.35 to $270.17 per cwt, while select cuts fell $0.85 to $255.68 per cwt, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

Traders await Friday's monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to show that feedlot placements in March fell 7.8% from a year earlier and marketings dropped 1.8%.

Hog futures fell for a third straight session on disappointing pork export sales and ideas that futures were overpriced relative to cash hog prices.

Benchmark June lean hogs settled down 1.575 cents at 117.175 cents per pound.

The USDA reported export sales of US pork in the week ended April 14 at 12,900 tonnes, a marketing year low that was down 55% from the prior four-week average. Weekly beef sales totalled 15,000 tonnes, down 27% from the prior four-week average.

Source: Reuters

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