Cattle futures extend gains, await US data - CME

Lean hog futures end lower
calendar icon 16 November 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

US cattle futures extended gains on Wednesday as traders adjusted positions after steep losses last week and ahead of monthly supply data due on Friday, Reuters reported.

Fund liquidation and technical selling seem to be exhausted after driving live cattle futures last Friday to their lowest prices since May and feeder cattle to April lows, analysts said.

With last week's losses, the markets have priced in expectations that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) may publish bearish data in a monthly Cattle on Feed report on Friday, analysts said.

Analysts on average predict the report will show producers placed 4.9% more cattle into US feedlots in October than a year earlier. The total number of cattle in feedlots as of Nov. 1 is estimated to be up 1.8% from a year ago, according to a Reuters survey.

CME December live cattle futures settled up 1.925 cents at 177.775 cents per pound on Wednesday, and February 2024 live cattle advanced 1.900 cents to 177.775 cents per pound. So far this week, the contracts have stayed within last week's trading range.

January 2024 feeder cattle futures rose 1.900 cents to 230.900 cents per pound.

The USDA priced choice cuts of boxed beef at $296.33 per cwt, up $0.66 from Tuesday, and select cuts at $267.85 per cwt, down $0.03.

Beef processors were losing an estimated $89.35 per head of cattle they slaughtered, said, as US cattle supplies are limited. Profit margins for pork producers, by comparison, were an estimated $38.65 per hog, up from Tuesday and a week ago.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 125,000 cattle, up from 124,000 cattle a week ago, and 487,000 hogs, down from 488,000 hogs a week ago, the USDA said.

The average weights for US hogs rose to 287.3 pounds in the week ended Nov. 11, from 286.7 pound a week earlier and 283.8 pounds a year ago, the government said.

CME lean hog futures ended lower, with the December contract sliding 1.250 cents to 71.050 cents per pound

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