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Live cattle futures climb as cash markets surge - CME

16 June 2022

July lean hog futures settle

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures jumped 2% on Wednesday, lifted by rising prices for market-ready cattle in the cash market, reported Reuters, citing traders.

Cash cattle traded in Nebraska at around $145 per hundredweight, traders said, up $2 to $4 from last week and significantly higher than nearby futures prices.

Some market watchers attributed the strong cash prices to extreme heat and humidity in the US Plains. In Kansas, the state's Department of Health and Environment knew of at least 2,000 cattle deaths due to weather as of Tuesday. 

"We're seeing some strength return to the cash cattle market, with some pretty significant death losses due to heat in Kansas over the weekend," StoneX chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a client note.

At the CME, June live cattle settled up 2.350 cents at 137.550 cents per pound and most-active August jumped 2.725 cents to finish at 136.800 cents.

CME August feeder cattle rose 1.975 cents to settle at 173.275 cents per pound.

Still, worries about inflation and consumer demand for high-priced cuts of beef hung over the market. The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved its largest interest rate increase in more than a quarter of a century in a bid to combat inflation. 

Wholesale beef prices eased. Choice cuts were down $1.22 at $268.22 per cwt and select cuts fell $1.14 to $245.68, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

In the hog markets, CME July lean hog futures settled up 1.650 cents at 108.275 cents per pound, supported by firm cash hog prices. The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, rose to $108.13 per cwt.

However, wholesale pork prices declined for a second straight day. US pork carcasses were priced at $105.79 per cwt, down $2.88 from Tuesday, with belly values down $12.23 at $145.93, the USDA said.

Traders await the USDA's weekly export sales report on Thursday to gauge export demand for US pork and beef.

Source: Reuters



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