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CME update: live cattle futures falter due to processing slowdowns

23 April 2020

US live cattle futures eased on 22 April as cash markets for the animals weaken due to closed processing plants, traders said.

According to Reuters, the spread of COVID-19 is forcing meat processing plants to close. Major processors like JBS and Cargill are temporarily idling or suspending production to contain the spread of the virus.

"We simply do not know whether the situation will be improved or worse two weeks from now," INTL FCStone said in a note to clients.

CME June live cattle fell 0.150 cent to 83.925 cents per pound.

August feeder cattle futures rose 0.3 cent to 127.2 cents per pound.

The US Agriculture Department on Wednesday afternoon said that frozen beef supplies were 2 percent higher from the end of February and up 11 percent from a year ago.

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