Cattle Futures - Live Cattle Mixed; Hogs Retreat

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures closed mixed Friday, with June through October in bearish territory and remaining contracts on the plus-side of the ledger. Bear-spreading out of front-months, which was in part fueled by this week's negative cash results, pressed nearby contracts and propped up distant months.
calendar icon 29 May 2007
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Feeder cattle and lean hogs settled weaker while bellies closed firmer.

Live cattle trended lower after the opening bell because potential longs were initially reluctant to buy what shorts were selling, especially given lower-than-expected cash returns this week and tepid wholesale boxed beef demand.

Midday choice and select boxed beef cuts, as quoted by the federal government, shed another $2.01 and $0.59 of their value. Nonetheless, a few cattle break-buyers remain confident about a potential short-term beef demand bounce after the holiday as spring-time grilling heats up across the country.

Traders, packers and cattle owners alike will start fresh next week by evaluating showlists and gauging supply needs. Grocers are also expected to assess meat case inventories following holiday sales.

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