US cattle rise with boxed beef prices - CME

Lean hog futures set new contract lows
calendar icon 12 December 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures advanced on Monday as wholesale beef prices increased and the market rebounded from a 2% slide last week, Reuters reported, citing brokers.

Most-active February live cattle settled 2.175 cents higher at 167.900 cents per pound, after sinking last week to the lowest level in 14 months. Thin volume contributed to volatility in the market, brokers said.

Live cattle have retreated from historic highs reached in mid-September as commodity funds slashed their net long position amid worries about easing consumer demand for US beef.

On Monday, though, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced choice cuts of beef at $290.43 per hundredweight (cwt), up $2.42, in a turnaround from an April low reached on Friday.

Beef buyers ramped up purchases following recent weakness in prices and over expectations that supplies will tighten due to producers reducing the size of the US cattle herd, said Dennis Smith, commodity broker for Archer Financial Services.

Ranchers increasingly sent cattle to slaughter, rather than keeping them to reproduce, as dryness has reduced the amount of pasture available for grazing.

"The end user, the well-informed smart money, came in and is really booking the beef big-time now," Smith said. "They realize what cattle production and cattle supplies are going to do in the future. They realize (choice) beef is not going be below $295 for very long."

CME January feeder cattle jumped 2.650 cents to end at 217.950 cents per pound.

In CME's lean hog market, February futures settled 1.650 cents lower at 67.325 cents per pound. The market hit its lowest price since setting a contract low on Nov. 28.

The USDA priced pork carcasses at $86.62 per cwt, up $0.95 from Friday, as belly values climbed.

Pork processors slaughtered an estimated 462,000 hogs on Monday, down from 483,000 hogs a week ago, the USDA said.

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