Live cattle hit one-month low on profit-taking - CME

Lean hogs finish down
calendar icon 14 March 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures fell to their lowest price in more than a month, while feeder cattle sank below a one-week low on Monday on profit-taking following recent rallies, Reuters reported, citing brokers.

Feeder cattle closed lower for the third consecutive session after the front-month contract touched a 2015 high last week. Live cattle, meanwhile, have pulled back from a life-of-contract high in the most-active April contract last week.

Some brokers said it seemed feeder cattle had climbed too high, too quickly recently and the market had temporarily set a top. Still, futures could ultimately move higher again if a further decline in corn prices signals lower costs for livestock feed, brokers said.

Supply concerns also remain supportive for cattle futures over the longer term, brokers said, as US ranchers have reduced their herds due to drought.

"We're worried about our beef supply moving through the marketing year and lower cattle weights, but demand is down with it," said Karl Setzer, brokerage research lead at Mid-Co Commodities.

CME April feeder cattle finished 0.575 cent lower at 197.075 cents per pound and touched its lowest price since March 3 at 195.750 cents. It was a setback from a contract high of 200.775 cents on Thursday.

Thinly traded March feeders closed down 0.650 cent at 190.825 cents a pound. On Thursday, the front-month contract touched 194.325 cents, the highest on a continuous chart since October 2015.

CME April live cattle ended 0.725 cent weaker at 163.550 cents per pound and touched their lowest price since Feb. 2.

Broad-based economic jitters added pressure to a range of markets, including livestock, as investors reduced risk amid worries about contagion from the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, analysts said.

"It's a factor for every market today really," Setzer said.

CME April lean hogs finished down 1.225 cents at 86.225 cents per pound.

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