Live cattle futures dip on profit-taking - CME

Hog futures end mixed
calendar icon 11 March 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures closed lower on Friday, with the most-active April contract retreating on a round of profit-taking after hitting its highest in more than four months, Reuters reported, citing traders.

Cash cattle traded at $185 per hundredweight (cwt) in Texas and Kansas, traders said, an improvement from the bulk of last week's trades at $183 but not as high as a few trades noted one day earlier at $186 per cwt. The slight retreat in cash prices may have spurred selling in futures, brokers said.

CME benchmark April live cattle settled down 1.125 cents at 187.600 cents per pound, retreating after a climb to 189.950 cents, the contract's highest since Oct. 20. Traders noted chart-based resistance at 190 cents.

"I think it was a short-term setback because you couldn't get through 190," said Dan Norcini, an independent trader.

"Fundamentally, I didn't see anything that was particularly negative. Beef was moving pretty good and we are maybe two weeks away from a pickup in the spring demand," Norcini said, noting U.S. retailer needs ahead of the Mothers Day and Memorial Day holidays in May.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the choice boxed beef cutout on Friday afternoon at $307.04 per cwt, up 43 cents from Thursday and the highest reading since Oct. 30.

CME April feeder cattle futures fell 2.200 cents to close Friday at 254.100 cents per pound.

Hog futures ended mixed. The most-active April contract settled down 0.150 cent at 84.375 cents per pound while June hogs rose 0.675 cent to end at 101.825 cents.

April hogs were under pressure on the second day of the periodic "Goldman roll," when some commodity index funds roll long positions forward by selling April futures and buying deferred contracts.

But rising wholesale pork prices supported the rest of the market. The USDA priced the carcass cutout late Friday at $92.11 per cwt, up 96 cents from Thursday.

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