Chicago | Reuters — U.S. livestock futures rallied on Monday, with both cattle and hog contracts firming on spillover support from strength in the cash market.
The markets also were rising on renewed hopes for a trade deal with China after the world’s largest oilseed buyer booked deals to buy about 10 boatloads of U.S. soybeans, the second deal of that size this month.
“We had some risk on trade from optimism that maybe some kind of a positive trade talks would happen,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. “It all added up to China trying to put out a good faith olive branch.”
Feeder cattle futures, which hit their highest since Aug. 6 and live cattle futures, which hit their highest since Sept. 3, received additional support from monthly U.S. Agriculture Department reports that showed cattle supplies were tighter than expected.
USDA said in a monthly report on Friday afternoon that 1.88 million head of cattle were placed in feedlots in August, nine per cent less than a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Reuters were expecting a decline of about 6.3 per cent.
October live cattle futures rose 2.5 cents to 101.85 cents/lb. (all figures US$).
October feeder cattle futures gained 2.05 cents to cents to 141.25 cents/lb.
October lean hog futures ended up 0.6 cents at 60.95 cents/lb. at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. December lean hog futures were 2.125 cents higher at 68.375 cents/lb.
On Monday afternoon, USDA said in a monthly cold storage report that frozen beef stocks rose to 469.38 million lbs. as of Aug. 31. Pork belly stocks were 45.089 million lbs., down from 52.647 million lbs. a month earlier.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.