Live cattle ease on softer cash markets - CME

Seasonal increase to hog supplies adds pressure
calendar icon 4 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures eased on Friday, ending the week slightly lower as cash trade eased, though the cattle market continues to trade mostly sideways, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

"The market's basically saying – we've got stable trade right now for a couple months," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc. "We're all waiting for the next drop off in supply which is not gonna be lined up until the fourth quarter, or into the first half of next year."

The most-active October live cattle eased 0.675 cents to 180.150 cents per pound, while October feeder cattle lost 1.375 cents to 254.650 cents per pound.

For the week, October live cattle eased 0.57%, while October feeder cattle added 0.27%.

Cash cattle traded $2.00 lower in the northern plains, around $182.00 per cwt., while the southern plains was steady to $1.00 lower at $178.00 to $179.00 per cwt.

Beef packers are set to slaughter 629,000 head this week, 13,000 fewer than the same period a year ago, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

Boxed beef prices firmed, with choice cuts adding 70 cents to $314.49 per cwt., while select cuts gained $1.04 cents to $290.29 per cwt, the USDA said.

Meanwhile CME lean hog futures added, as traders watch for signs of increased demand, while a seasonal increase in hog supplies added pressure.

"October is National Pork Month and procurement for that starts really in the first week of September," said Nelson. "we're still consistent on the lower downtrend for cash markets, so we have not yet seen that procurement start."

The most-active October lean hog futures inched up 0.500 cent to 83.050 cents per pound.

For the week, October hogs gained 4.04%.

Pork processors were on track to slaughter 2.39 million head, up 18,000 from the same period last year, the USDA said.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash prices, last fell to 89.26 cents per pound, its lowest since June 19.

Wholesale pork carcass cutout added $1.48 to $93.70 per cwt.

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