U.S. livestock: Cattle futures weaken on technical setback

Hog futures up ahead of USDA data

CME February 2021 live cattle with Bollinger (20,2) bands. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures eased on Monday, setting back on some mild technical selling after three days of gains, while hog futures edged higher, traders said.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) February live cattle futures settled 0.2 cent lower at 114.65 cents/lb. (all figures US$).

The contract hit its highest since Nov. 12 but turned lower after hitting resistance at the high end of its 20-day Bollinger range, a key technical point it also failed to top on Friday.

January feeder cattle rose 0.075 cent to 140.525 cents/lb.

The choice boxed beef cutout rose $2.29, to $210.92/cwt, on Friday, according to USDA. Select cuts gained $2.99, to $197.26/cwt.

CME February lean hogs rose 0.125 cent to 65.925 cents/lb.

Traders said USDA’s monthly cattle on feed report, released Friday after the close of trading, was neutral to the market.

The report showed that the amount of cattle placed on feed during November was down nine per cent from a year ago. That was slightly lower than market expectations for 8.6 per cent.

The amount of cattle on feed as of Dec. 1 was in line with trade forecasts.

USDA will release its quarterly report on hog inventories on Wednesday. It was expected to show the U.S. hog herd likely decreased by one per cent in the September-November quarter from a year earlier.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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