Live cattle dip in nearby contract; beef plants reopen - CME

Lean hog futures finish up
calendar icon 11 January 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures eased slightly in the front-month contract on Wednesday as US slaughtering began to recover from disruptions due to extreme winter weather earlier this week, reported Reuters.

Deferred live cattle futures and feeder cattle futures finished stronger.

Tyson Foods and Cargill said they resumed operations at beef processing plants in Kansas that were idled on Tuesday. Livestock producers are now preparing for bitterly cold weather in the central US that can slow weight gains in cattle.

Supplies of market-ready cattle are expected to plentiful in the near term, after placements into feedlots last autumn exceeded the previous year's levels, analysts said. Supplies are project to tighten later this year, though.

"The cattle market has been very choppy this week and it's likely to stay that way through these weather issues," said Doug Houghton, analyst for Brock Associates. "There is still a front-end supply problem."

Most-active CME February live cattle futures finished down 0.025 cent at 170.750 cents per pound after earlier setting a one-week low. March feeder cattle increased 1.250 cents to settle at 226.125 cents per pound.

Nationwide, meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 113,000 cattle on Wednesday, up from 94,000 cattle on Tuesday but down from 128,000 cattle a week ago, the US Department of Agriculture said.

Slaughter declined on Tuesday as Cargill idled its plant in Dodge City, Kansas and Tyson Foods cancelled shifts at its facility in Holcomb, Kansas. Blizzard-like conditions on Monday had left plant workers stranded in their cars and sleeping at the slaughterhouses.

Capt. Jeff Steele of the Finney County Sheriff's Office in Kansas said his department had rescued at least 65 people leaving Tyson's plant on a stretch of road heading to Garden City, Kansas. Local farmers used tractors to help rescue stranded motorists and create a path for Steele to transport people to shelter in white-out conditions, he said.

In other news, CME February lean hog futures finished up 0.200 cent at 72.075 cents per pound.

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