US cattle futures dive to 10-year low

US cattle futures fell to their lowest in nearly a decade as traders react to uncertain long-term demand as the coronavirus pandemic progresses.
calendar icon 17 March 2020
clock icon 1 minute read

According to reporting from Reuters, all fed cattle contracts settled down the daily 4.5 cent trading limit. The CME Group has stated that fed cattle contracts will trade with expanded limits of 6.75 cents on Tuesday.

"The concerns are about restaurant demand and future overall demand," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for commodity broker Allendale in Illinois. "Much of the trade still thinks the worst is in front of us."

The most-active CME May fed cattle futures contract settled down 4.5 cents at 109.975 cents per lb. Fed cattle contracts hit new lows across the board.

CME June live cattle futures were down 4.5 cents at 85.25 cents per lb. Live cattle contracts also hit new lows across the board.

On a continuous basis, the front-month live cattle contract hit its lowest since July 2010 and front-month fed cattle hit its lowest since October 2010.

"Food service, institutional (schools), and travel demand is in freefall, while we see pics of cleaned out meat counters in grocery stores," INTL FCSTone said in a note to clients. "It's a massive rerouting of demand."

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