April live cattle futures end lower - CME

Lean hogs retreat from recent highs
calendar icon 28 February 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures ended lower on Tuesday as the market pulled back slightly from strong recent gains, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Fund buying and improving demand for US pork have helped to lift the most actively traded April contract by about 15% since the start of the year.

April lean hogs settled down 0.375 cent at 85.900 cents per pound on Tuesday. June hogs closed 0.525 cent lower at 99.325 cents, after climbing earlier to their highest price in nearly a year.

Some traders said monthly US data on meat supplies in cold storage facilities, issued after the close of trading on Monday, looked supportive to futures prices.

Total supplies of frozen pork, as of Jan. 31, were down 10% from last year at 468 million pounds, while supplies of frozen pork ribs were down 23% at about 89.2 million pounds.

For beef, frozen supplies of about 475.4 million pounds were down 11% from a year earlier and the lowest for the end of January since 2014, according to USDA data.

US ranchers slashed the nation's cattle herd to its smallest level in more than 70 years as drought reduced the amount of pastureland available for grazing.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 125,000 cattle on Tuesday, down from 126,094 a year ago, the USDA said. Packers were losing about $67.65 per head processing the animals into beef, compared to losses of $106.65 per head a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com.

CME April live cattle ended down 0.375 cent at 187.725 cents per pound. The contract earlier traded near a four-month high reached last week.

April feeder cattle closed 0.05 cent higher at 258.950 cents per pound, after rising on Monday to the highest level since October.

In other news, Brazil's foreign ministry said it was informed the Chinese government decided not to renew an anti-dumping measure applied to the South American country's poultry exports.

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