U.S. livestock: Cattle, hog futures rise on strong cash markets

U.S. packers seen dialing up slaughter pace

CME December 2020 live cattle with 20- and 50-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle and lean hog futures advanced on Monday on expectations that cash prices will remain firm, analysts said.

Cash cattle prices are expected to rise $1-$2/cwt this week as packers ramp up slaughtering, said Brian Hoops, president of broker Midwest Market Solutions (all figures US$). Fat cattle last week traded in the U.S. Plains at $107/cwt, up about $2 from the previous week.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 119,000 cattle on Monday, up from 118,000 a week ago and 118,000 a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“They’re going to have to pay up for the cash markets,” Hoops said.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange October live cattle rose 0.65 cent to 108.825 cents/lb. and most-active December ended up 0.65 cent at 111.75 cents.

CME November feeder cattle edged up 0.05 cent to 139.925 cents/lb.

CME October lean hogs settled up 0.25 cent at 74.75 cents/lb., while most-active December hogs rose 0.15 cent to 62.65 cents.

The CME’s lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash markets, increased to $76.81/cwt, it highest since August 2019 and up from $76.74 on Friday. The U.S. pork cutout, an indication of wholesale pork prices, was $2.85 higher at $95/cwt.

“We’re looking at cash markets for direction this week,” Hoops said.

— Tom Polansek reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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