U.S. livestock: July hogs limit-down to lowest since late March

August live cattle down, feeders up

CME July 2021 lean hogs (candlesticks) with 20- and 100-day moving averages (pink and brown lines) and August 2021 live cattle (dark red open/high/low/close). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures tumbled to their lowest in nearly three months on Thursday with rising supplies pressuring the market, traders said.

CME July hogs settled down the 4.5-cent daily trading limit at 100.025 cents/lb. (all figures US$). That was the lowest for the front-month contract since March 29. Actively traded August hogs ended down 2.025 cents at 98.7 cents.

After the close, the U.S. Agriculture Department said that the size of the U.S. hog herd as of June 1 was 98 per cent as big as a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting 97.7 per cent.

USDA said Thursday morning that weekly export sales of pork fell to 28,600 tonnes from 29,300 the prior week.

The wholesale U.S. pork carcass cutout price rose $5.17, to $112.99, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, rebounding off the lowest level in nearly two months it hit on Wednesday.

Profit margins at pork processors improved slightly as hog futures crumbled. Packers were facing a loss of $48.22 per head, up from a loss of $60.23 on Wednesday, according to Denver-based livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com.

August live cattle futures settled 0.25 cent lower at 122.65 cents/lb. CME August feeder cattle ended up 1.45 cents at 157.15 cents/lb.

USDA quoted the choice boxed beef cutout value at $307.42/cwt, down $4.63 from Wednesday, and the select cutout up 73 cents at $276.14/cwt.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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