U.S. livestock: Hog futures fall

Live cattle futures firm while slaughter numbers rise

CME July 2020 lean hogs with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving average. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. hog futures fell on Tuesday, pressured by an increase in daily slaughter totals as pork plants come back online, traders said.

CME live cattle futures firmed despite rising kill numbers, with the most-actively traded contract passing through a key technical benchmark.

The nearby CME June live cattle futures contract settled up 0.05 cent at 98.775 cents/lb., while August live cattle ended 0.225 cent higher at 99.075 cents/lb. (all figures US$).

The August live cattle contract rose above its 10-day moving average during the session.

Feeder cattle contracts were weaker, with the August contract slipping 0.625 cent to 131.925 cents/lb.

CME June lean hogs fell one cent to 56.65 cents/lb. and the July contract dropping 2.175 cents at 55.475 cents/lb.

The most-active July hogs contract has fallen for five sessions in a row and eight of the last nine. It hits its lowest since April 27 on Tuesday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday that hog slaughter rose to 397,000, the highest total since April 17. The daily cattle slaughter totaled 99,000, the highest since April 14.

Slaughter numbers remained well below their pre-coronavirus pandemic averages as farmers and ranchers have struggled to get their goods to market because of disruptions caused by the global health crisis.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday the United States should consider terminating trade deals under which it imports cattle, as Washington moves to help agricultural producers hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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