Live cattle near eight-week high on improving demand - CME

June hog markets close higher
calendar icon 21 May 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures reached their highest level in nearly eight weeks on Monday on improving demand from US processors, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Feeder cattle set a three-week high before pulling back, while lean hog futures hit a three-month low before rebounding.

Beef processors have struggled with tight US cattle supplies after ranchers slashed their herds in recent years, and they responded by slaughtering fewer animals.

But processors increased slaughtering on Monday to about 120,000 cattle from 116,000 a week ago, the US Department of Agriculture said. That was still down from 125,274 cattle a year ago.

Processors were earning about $31.70 per head of cattle, compared to steep loss of $116.95 per head a week ago, according to

"Packers moved into the black," a broker said.

CME June live cattle closed 0.425 cent higher at 181.475 cents per pound and touched the highest level since March 26.

CME August feeder cattle hit the highest price since April 29 before closing down 1.375 cents at 258.475 cents per pound.

Beef demand is expected to increase as the upcoming Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer grilling season. Wholesale beef prices surged last week, driving up cattle futures.

Live cattle traded in the cash market at about $186 per cwt in the southern US last week, up about $2 from the previous week, and at around $190 per cwt in the north, up about $3-$4, traders said. Enthusiasm over the firm cash prices helped carry futures higher on Monday, they said.

In the pork market, CME June hogs ended up 0.425 cent at 96.925 cents per pound after falling to the lowest price since Feb. 14. The market earlier came under pressure as futures look too high compared to cash prices, traders said.

In Brazil, farmers in Rio Grande do Sul, which accounts for a quarter of all Brazilian pork exports, lost an estimated 12,600 hogs due to floods, a lobby group said.

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