U.S. livestock: Cash price unease pressures CME live cattle

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures closed lower on Monday, weakened by sell stops and uncertainty regarding cash prices later this week, traders said.

Funds that track the Standard + Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index at times sold, or “rolled,” August futures and simultaneously bought October on the first of five days of the Goldman Roll process.

August ended 0.95 cent lower at 113.825 cents, and October finished down 0.4 cent to 113.425 cents (all figures US$).

Last week slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S. Plains brought mostly $118 to $119/cwt.

Investors await the sale of more than 2,600 animals at Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange. Animals there last week, on average, fetched $117.75/cwt.

Bullish investors believe better-than-expected cash prices late last week and impressive packer profits bode well for cash returns.

Market bears contend that processors are less likely to pay more for supplies in the midst of seasonally hot weather that tends to curtail grilling activities.

Additionally, some ranchers and feedlots are moving cattle to market earlier than they had planned to prevent potential stress and animal death loss from high heat and humidity in parts of the Plains.

Strong corn prices and weaker live cattle futures weighed on CME feeder cattle contracts.

August feeders ended 0.35 cent/lb. lower at 144.675 cents.

Softer lean hog futures

CME lean hogs drew pressure from sell stops and the roll by funds out of the August contract into deferred months, said traders.

July, which will expire on July 17, ended down 0.25 cent/lb. to 91.475 cents. Most actively-traded August finished 1.225 cents lower at 82 cents.

August futures remain at a bullish discount to cash prices, but investors are waiting for the July contract to expire before making their move, a trader said.

Packers raised bids for cash hogs whose numbers have declined seasonally as sultry weather slows down animal weight gains, he said.

— Theopolis Waters reports on livestock markets for Reuters from Chicago.

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