US cattle futures end mixed - CME

Lean hogs end lower on signs of cooling economy
calendar icon 21 June 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle futures were mixed on Thursday, with nearby live cattle contracts ticking higher amid signs of strength in the cash market and consumer demand staying firm, Reuters reported, citing market analysts.

Feeder cattle futures and back-month live cattle contracts eased. The dip tracks seasonal patterns normally seen going into the summer grilling season, when Americans tend to shift to buying cheaper ground beef and hot dogs rather than pricier steaks, said Don Roose, president of US Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

"Cattle futures should be on a seasonal ventilator right now, and start to drift lower," Roose said. "Still, it's surprising that consumer demand has stayed so strong."

Wholesale beef prices firmed on Thursday. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that boxed beef cutout prices for both choice and select cuts turned higher.

Traders said they would be keeping a close eye out for the latest beef and pork export data from the USDA on Friday, which are slated to be released a day later than usual due to Wednesday's Juneteenth federal holiday.

Some market participants were paying closer attention to signals that the US economy may be cooling, and what that might mean for meat demand later in the year, traders said.

While the government has reported that overall strength in the US jobs market persists, another set of data showed US single-family homebuilding fell in May, amid continued high mortgage rates.

CME lean hog futures fell on an anticipation of weakness in pork exports. The trade fight between China and the European Union could result in more pork flowing into the global market, Roose said.

CME July hogs closed 2.625 cents lower, at 91.150 cents per pound.

CME August live cattle settled 0.450 cent higher, at 182.550 cents per pound. CME August feeder cattle ended down 0.125 cent, to end at 259.825 cents per pound.

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