Chicago / Reuters – Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle ended lower on Friday, the last trading session of the month, with pressure from uneasiness about remaining prices for remaining market-ready, or cash, cattle by late Friday evening, traders said.
Spot October, which expired at noon CDT (1700 GMT), settled 0.875 cents per cwt lower at 139.250 cents, and December 1.075 cents lower at 141.725.
Feedlots are holding out for $140 per cwt for unsold cattle after packers earlier this week paid $138. Last week, cattle in the U.S. Plains moved at $134.50 to $138.
Processors are pushing back against paying higher prices in an attempt to recover lost margins while supporting wholesale beef prices.
The average beef packer margin for Friday was negative $4.85 per head, compared to a negative $9.70 on Thursday and a positive $14.80 a week ago, as calculated by HedgersEdge.com.
Friday afternoon’s wholesale choice beef price was down 89 cents per cwt from Thursday to $220.04. Select cuts rose 52 cents to $212.07, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
CME spot-November closed 1.025 cents per lb lower at 190.900 cents, pressured by live cattle futures selling.
HOGS CLOSE UNEVEN
CME lean hogs were pressured by eroding cash and wholesale pork values, but back months drew support from short-covering and bargain hunting, traders said.
Spot December closed 0.675 cent per lb lower at 59.200 cents, and February down 0.250 cent to 62.750. April ended up 0.300 cent to 67.425 cents and May at 72.600 cents, up 0.475.
Cash hog prices in the Iowa/Minnesota hog market on Friday afternoon slumped $2.10 per cwt from Thursday to $64.67, the USDA said.
Separate government data showed the afternoon’s wholesale pork price, cutout, had dropped $2.64 per cwt from Thursday to $78.14, led by costs for pork bellies that tumbled $12.49.
Packer inventories are full into the middle of next week, and falling cutout prices come as October Pork Month draws near, a trader said.
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA has concluded its $1.45 billion acquisition of Cargill Inc’s pork assets.