Cattle, hog futures near two-week lows - CME

Winter storm affecting shipments
calendar icon 4 January 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group livestock futures hit their lowest prices in about two weeks on Tuesday on profit-taking and widespread selling that dragged down commodity and financial markets, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Traders booked profit in live cattle after the most-active contract reached a fresh high on Thursday, brokers said.

Benchmark CME February live cattle on Tuesday fell by 1.050 cent to close at 156.850 cents per pound. The contract touched its lowest price since Dec. 21 at 156.650 cents.

March feeder cattle futures slid 1.450 cents to settle at 184.775 cents per pound, after touching its lowest price since Dec. 20 at 184.300 cents.

On Wall Street, the main indexes closed lower. Cattle futures are sometimes linked to losses in the stock market because an economic downturn can prompt consumers to eat less pricey beef.

But rising boxed beef prices helped to limit losses in cattle futures, brokers said.

Choice cuts of boxed beef jumped by $4.97 to $286.95 per hundredweight, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said. Select cuts of boxed beef increased $3.70 to 254.63 per hundredweight.

Livestock traders also monitored a winter storm that dumped a frosty mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet from the US Northern Plains to the Upper Great Lakes region. Some shipments of hogs were cancelled in Minnesota due to the storm, a producer said.

Still, meat packers slaughtered an estimated 483,000 hogs nationwide, up from 466,000 hogs a year ago, the USDA said. About 126,000 cattle were slaughtered, up from 116,000 a year ago.

CME February lean hogs sank 2.625 cents to end at 85.075 cents per pound and reached their lowest price since Dec. 21 at 84.600 cents.

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