Cattle future end mixed - CME

Lean hogs firm
calendar icon 26 December 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hogs turned higher on a technical bump on Friday, and cattle futures were mixed on moderate cash trades, Reuters reported, citing traders.

But hog futures could face pressure going into next week, after a US government report that showed a larger-than-expected domestic herd, analysts said.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in a quarterly report issued after trading ended, said the inventory of all hogs and pigs on Dec. 1 was 74.97 million head, up 0.02% from a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected a decline of 0.5%.

Analysts had generally expected a smaller herd as producers have struggled to make a profit amid low pig prices and high operational costs.

USDA on Friday also reported the number of pigs per litter was bigger-than-expected - numbers that are expected to be bearish for futures going into next week, traders said.

The average pigs saved per litter was 11.66 for the September-November period, compared to 11.22 last year. The increased productivity is driving up supply numbers, even though some producers have reduced their numbers of sows, or mother pigs, analysts said.

The USDA report also said that inventories of market hogs ticked up 0.32% at 68.97 million head. Analysts had expected 68.4 million head.

"The productivity numbers is what's killing them," said Dan Norcini, an independent livestock trader. "It doesn't matter if you're breeding fewer sows, if you're getting more pigs per sow."

In a separate report also released on Friday, USDA said that the number of cattle on feed for Dec. 1 was 12.01 million head, up from 11.69 million in 2022, and above average trade expectations.

CME's most-active February lean hogs settled up 0.650 cent higher, at 71.35 cents per pound.

CME live cattle February contract settled down 0.155 cent at 168.525 cents per pound. And CME's most-active March feeder cattle ended the day up 1.025 cents at 224.400 cents per pound.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.