Cattle, hogs hit multi-month highs on firm cash markets - CME

Export sales of US beef up
calendar icon 26 January 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) rose to 2-1/2-month highs on Thursday, buoyed by rising cash cattle prices, brisk beef exports and technical strength, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Market-ready cattle traded at $174 to $175 per hundredweight (cwt) in Texas and Kansas cash markets, up about $1 from last week, traders said, reflecting demand from meat packers after wintry weather and holiday closures slowed the slaughter pace in recent weeks.

The pace has recovered this week, with 126,000 cattle killed on Thursday, above the week-ago and year-ago count.

CME April live cattle futures rose 2.350 cents on Thursday to settle at 180.700 cents per pound after reaching 181.100 cents, the contract's highest level since Nov. 9.

CME March feeder cattle settled up 4.400 cents at 238.175 cents per pound.

Export sales of US beef in the week ended Jan. 18 totalled 22,400 metric tons, data from US Department of Agriculture showed, the biggest weekly tally in 11 months.

However, US wholesale beef prices fell for a second day after climbing for most of January, a potentially bearish signal for cattle futures. The USDA priced choice cuts of beef on Thursday afternoon at $298.68 per cwt, down 82 cents from Wednesday.

"It looks like that rally (in beef prices) is out of steam, partly because slaughter rates have come back to normal. So there is more product being put into the market," said Doug Houghton, analyst for Brock Associates.

CME hog futures set 3-1/2-month highs on Thursday, supported by firming cash hog prices. Benchmark April hogs settled up 0.525 cent at 82.550 cents per pound after reaching 82.850 cents, the contract's highest since Oct. 10.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash prices, rose to 69.39 cents per pound, its highest reading since Dec. 5.

"The cash (hog) market has made, at least, a short-term seasonal low," Houghton said.

The USDA priced the pork carcass cutout late Thursday at $88.91 per cwt, up 5 cents from Wednesday but below this week's top of $90.17.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.