US beef export sales increase month on month - CME

Lean hogs jump following recent slide
calendar icon 15 December 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Lean hog futures climbed at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) on Thursday as the market rebounded from recent losses amid short covering and hopes that cash prices may have reached a bottom, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

Feeder cattle futures also rallied, and live cattle finished stronger.

CME February lean hogs jumped 3.75 cents to end at 70.475 cents per pound, its highest closing price since Dec. 4. It was a turnaround after the market on Wednesday touched its lowest price since setting a contract low of 65.8 cents on Nov. 28.

Export demand for US pork helped support the market, an analyst said. US export sales in the week ended on Dec. 7 were 28,200 metric tons for 2023, up 9% from the previous week and 15% from the prior four-week average, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Weekly US beef export sales also increased. Net sales of 10,600 metric tons for 2023 were up 67% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said.

CME January feeder cattle jumped 1.975 cents to settle at 219.350 cents per pound, its highest closing price since Nov. 30. February live cattle gained 0.700 cent to close at 167.925 cents per pound and stayed within Wednesday's trading range.

Live cattle futures have bounced a bit after sinking last week to a 14-month low. The market soared earlier this year as US producers slashed herds in the face of a drought that reduced the availability of land for grazing.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 125,000 cattle on Thursday, compared to 126,000 cattle a week ago and 122,000 cattle a year earlier, the USDA said.

The USDA priced choice cuts of boxed beef at $292.32 per hundredweight, up $0.68 from Wednesday.

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