U.S. livestock: CME live cattle ease as beef demand cools

CME lean hog futures mostly firm

CME August 2021 live cattle (candlesticks) with 100-day moving average (red line) and August 2021 lean hogs (pink open/high/low/close). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures dropped for a second day, following U.S. boxed beef prices lower as seasonal demand cools.

“You’re still seeing boxed beef pull back, which is normal, seasonally,” said Matthew Wiegand, Risk Management Consultant at FuturesOne. “We’re past the Fourth of July — we don’t have a grilling holiday until Labour Day.”

Boxed beef prices fell, with choice cuts dropping $2.93, to $281.97/cwt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while select cuts fell $2.02, to $260.06/cwt (all figures US$).

CME August live cattle futures ended down 1.325 cents at 119.275 cents/lb., hitting its lowest price since June 11.

Cash cattle traded $1-$2 lower across the upper U.S. Plains, ranging from $119 in Kansas to $125 in Nebraska, according to USDA.

Live cattle pulled the feeder cattle market lower, despite a softer corn trade, Wiegand said.

CME August feeder cattle settled 1.675 cents lower at 157.325 cents/lb.

Meanwhile, CME hogs were mostly firm, though the most active August contract inched lower as demand cools and herd size looks to rebuild.

“The margins should be there to encourage expansion. It’s just how fast it can do it,” said Wiegand.

CME lean hog futures for August delivery ended down 0.025 cents at 100.375 cents/lb.

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

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