U.S. livestock: Live cattle futures snap losing streak

Large supplies pressure CME hog futures

CME October 2020 live cattle with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures jumped on Monday in a rebound off a run of losses, while lean hog futures closed weaker.

Live cattle were due for a rebound after falling last week amid pressure from weakness in the cash market, traders said. Short covering helped lift prices, they said.

“We broke pretty sharply here on the cattle,” said Matt Wiegand, commodity broker for FuturesOne.

CME benchmark October live cattle ended up 0.4 cent at 105.3 cents/lb., after falling earlier in the session to its lowest price since July 28 (all figures US$).

October feeder cattle rose 0.45 cent, to 140.625 cents/lb.

Cash cattle prices may fall further this week, putting renewed pressure on futures, traders said.

Boxed beef prices were under pressure on Monday, with choice cuts declining by $2.05, to $227.35/cwt, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Traders are waiting to assess U.S. beef demand following the upcoming Labour Day holiday. Typically, consumers shift purchases to meats consumed indoors such as roasts from steaks that go on the grill.

“Boxed beef looks like it’s peaked for now,” said Wiegand.

In the pork market, CME October lean hogs slipped 0.05 cent to close at 53.6 cents/lb.

Large supplies continue to hang over the market, traders said.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 486,000 hogs on Monday, up from 469,000 a week ago, according to USDA data. They slaughtered 119,000 head of cattle, up from 117,000 a week earlier.

— Tom Polansek reports on agriculture and agribusiness for Reuters from Chicago.

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