U.S. livestock: Cattle futures trim back on election uncertainty

Pork fundamentals still bearish on hogs

CME December 2020 live cattle with Bollinger (20,2) bands. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live and feeder cattle futures fell on Tuesday in a round of profit-taking ahead of an uncertain U.S. presidential election, analysts said.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange December live cattle futures settled 0.725 cent lower at 107.825 cents/lb., after rising in each the last five sessions (all figures US$).

CME feeder cattle futures closed lower, with the most-active January contract ending down 0.875 cent at 133.175 cents/lb.

“We’ve got a massive night tonight in the election and a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty is always bearish,” said Scott Varilek, broker at Kooima + Kaemingk Commodities Inc. “I think it’s just a little risk off the table.”

Varilek said the outlook for beef demand remains positive. Wholesale beef prices strengthened for a fourth consecutive day, with choice cuts up 79 cents at $209.44/cwt on Tuesday afternoon and select cuts up $2.83 at $195.45, according to USDA data.

Lean hog futures ended mixed, with the most-active December contact ending down 0.55 cent at 65.4 cents/lb. while back months finished modestly higher.

Fundamentals for pork remain more bearish, according to Varilek, who said seasonal increases in hog slaughter may be offset by continued exports to China.

“We should have a pretty nice supply coming around the corner. But that is yet to be seen,” he said.

— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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