Cattle markets rebound from multi-month lows - CME

Lean hog futures decline
calendar icon 6 December 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) closed higher on Tuesday on bargain buying a day after the benchmark February contract hit an 11-month low, reported Reuters.

CME February live cattle settled up 1.900 cents at 168.975 cents per pound, while the spot December contract ended up 1.250 cents at 168.500 cents.

CME January feeder cattle rose 4.175 cents to settle at 214.700 cents per pound.

Tuesday's firm close marked a pause in a sell-off in live cattle futures that began in late September, when the market was hovering at historic highs, prompting traders to book profits and worry about consumer demand for high-priced beef.

Open interest in CME live cattle futures has dwindled by roughly 20% since then as managed funds have slashed their net long position by about two-thirds.

Wholesale beef prices extended their decline. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced choice cuts of beef at $293.75 per hundredweight (cwt) on Tuesday afternoon, down $1.24 from Monday and the lowest since mid-April. Select cuts fell $3.70 at $259.13 per cwt.

The government reported Tuesday's cattle slaughter at 126,000 head, up from 125,000 a week ago but down from 129,000 a year ago.

CME lean hog futures declined, with most-active February hogs down 1.450 cents at 69.350 cents per pound.

The USDA priced pork carcasses on Tuesday afternoon at $84.67 per cwt, up 24 cents from Monday.

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