U.S. livestock: CME hog futures slump with cash prices, pork demand


Chicago | Reuters –– Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs closed lower on Thursday, pressured by weaker prices for market-ready or cash hogs pegged to plant closures during the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, trader said.

They also cited the relapse in wholesale pork prices. Grocers bought all the product they need to accommodate grilling demand over the three-day holiday weekend.

Thursday morning’s hog price in the Iowa/Minnesota market dropped $2.21 per hundredweight (cwt) from Wednesday to $107.39, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said (all figures US$).

Separate USDA data showed the morning’s wholesale pork price fell $1.10/cwt from Wednesday to $113.82.

Fund liquidation and futures’ premium to CME’s hog index, at 111.49 cents, exerted more pressure on hog contracts.

The government’s monthly cold storage report will be issued today at 2 p.m. CT and will include April total pork and beef stocks.

CME hogs may trade mixed on Friday as investors even up positions before the long holiday weekend.

June closed 2.325 cents lower at 117.6, and July down 1.5 cents at 125.325.

Cattle down with cash

CME live cattle futures posted losses, weighed down by lower returns for slaughter-ready or cash cattle, traders said.

Cash cattle in Texas and Kansas traded at $144/cwt, down $1 from last week, feedlot sources said. They reported sales of similar cattle in Nebraska at $145 to $146.50, compared to mostly $147 a week ago.

Packers purchased cattle for the holiday-shortened workweek while bracing for an anticipated seasonal pickup in supplies, traders and analysts said.

Fund selling and sell stops applied more pressure on futures. The bright spot during Thursday’s session was rising demand for beef for post-Memorial Day cookouts.

The morning’s wholesale choice beef price rose 73 cents/cwt from Wednesday to $231.89. Select cuts climbed $1.33 to $221.42, based on USDA data.

“Futures could be in for a short-covering rebound on Friday as some of these guys get out of the market before the holiday,” a trader said.

June ended at 137.6 cents, 0.675 cent lower, and August down 0.95 cent at 138.65 cents.

CME feeder cattle bowed to profit-taking and live cattle market losses.

May, which expired at noon CT, settled down 0.125 cent to 189.075 cents. August ended 1.15 cents lower at 195.375 cents, and September one cent lower at 196.55.

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

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