Cattle contracts hit November highs - CME

Hog markets set new contract lows
calendar icon 3 January 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Cattle futures stormed higher at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) on Tuesday, boosted by firmer US cash trading last week, while hog futures set contract lows, reported Reuters

The increase in cash cattle prices made futures look too low and overshadowed concerns about risks for reduced demand for high-priced US beef, analysts said.

Most-active February live cattle futures settled up 3.425 cents, at 171.925 cents per pound at the CME, and reached the highest price since Nov. 30.

Most-active March feeder cattle rallied 3.35 cents to close at 226.45 cents per pound and touched the highest price since Nov. 24.

Cash cattle last week traded about $1 to $3 per hundredweight higher than a week earlier, at around $172 to $173 per hundredweight in the south and $172 to $174 in the north, traders said.

Slaughtering of cattle increased after slowing between Christmas and the end of the year and as wintry weather hit some central areas of the US last week.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 126,000 cattle on Tuesday, up from 100,000 cattle a week ago and 124,000 cattle a year ago, the US Department of Agriculture said.

Packers slaughtered an estimated 492,000 hogs, compared to 451,000 hogs a week ago and 435,000 hogs a year earlier.

Most-active February lean hog futures settled down 2.650 cents, at 65.325 cents per pound, and set a contract low of 64.675 cents.

Large supplies of hogs continue to pressure futures, analysts said.

The US had nearly 75 million hogs as of Dec. 1, according to the government, up slightly from a year earlier and above analysts' expectations. Increased productivity in breeding hogs has helped boost supplies.

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