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Cattle futures mostly close lower - CME

31 March 2022

Hog futures end lower as well

Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) closed lower on Wednesday on profit-taking and positioning ahead of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) quarterly hog inventory report, reported Reuters.

However, traders said the government data, released after the close, was supportive for futures.

The USDA reported the US hog herd as of 1 March at 72.2 million head, down 2.3% from a year ago, a larger decline than analysts expected. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected a herd of 73.046 million head, down 1.2% from a year ago.

"It looks friendly to me. Everything was below the average trade guess," said Dennis Smith, commodity broker at Archer Financial. "All of the farrowing intentions for spring and summer were lower than a year ago. The report confirms that (hog herd) contraction continues," Smith added.

Futures slipped ahead of the report, pausing after climbing for most of the last three weeks. CME's benchmark June lean hogs contract settled down 0.400 cent on Wednesday at 124.225 cents per pound, easing after setting a life-of-contract high on Monday at 126.875 cents.

Hog futures were likely to open higher on Thursday, Smith and others said.

CME cattle futures closed mostly lower. June live cattle ended down 0.475 cent at 138.0 cents per pound, retreating after setting a four-week high a day earlier. CME May feeder cattle finished down 0.500 cent at 168.900 cents per pound, staying inside Tuesday's trading range.

Market-ready cattle traded in the southern Plains cash market at $138 per hundredweight, steady with last week, traders said.

Source: Reuters



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