Chicago/Reuters – Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle fell on Monday in a profit-taking setback after notching one-year highs for four straight days last week, traders said.
Larger-than-expected cattle placements in a monthly government report issued after the market closed on Friday added pressure to start the week, with deferred contracts posting the steepest declines.
“The trade been trying to dial in a top in the cattle market for about six weeks now,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities. “There’s more confidence now that maybe this week we’ll see the top in cash cattle and the (beef) cutout and we’re going to start to drift lower seasonally.”
CME April live cattle closed 0.700 cent per pound lower at 129.100 cents. Actively traded June futures ended 1.425 cents lower at 115.275 cents.
Friday’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Cattle-On-Feed report was seen as mildly bearish for futures as U.S. cattle ranchers in March placed 11.0 percent more cattle into feedlots than a year ago in a record high for the month.
In another USDA report on Monday, the government reported total U.S. frozen beef stocks at 464.47 million lbs, down sharply from the prior month.
Monday afternoon’s average wholesale choice beef price climbed $1.51 per cwt to $218.67 while select cuts added 40 cents to $204.29, the USDA said.
CME April feeder cattle ended 0.125 cent per pound lower at 138.425 cents. Actively traded May closed 1.475 cents lower at 137.775 cents.
CME May lean hog futures bounced from Friday’s contract lows and deferred contracts recovered from multi month lows, lifted by seasonally rising demand.
May closed 1.250 cents per pound higher at 64.275 cents and most actively traded June ended up 1.150 cents at 69.475 cents.
After Monday’s close, the USDA said total U.S. frozen pork stocks fell last month to 555.052 million lbs and frozen pork belly stocks dropped to an all-time March low of 20.570 million lbs.