Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures touched a one-week high on Tuesday in a rebound from recent losses, while live cattle futures were mixed.
The hog market is recovering after dropping last week to a nine-week low, traders said. Hopes for improved export demand helped support prices, traders said.
CME August hog futures, the most actively traded contract, settled up 0.85 cent at 103.625 cents/lb. (all figures US$).
The wholesale U.S. pork carcass cutout price eased 91 cents, to $114.22/cwt, after jumping $5 on Monday, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Livestock traders on Wednesday will review USDA reports on crop plantings and stocks of grain used for animal feed. Analysts expect the agency will report corn and soybean inventories on June 1 were down 17 per cent and 43 per cent from a year earlier, respectively.
Grain prices have soared this year on tightening supplies and strong demand, squeezing profits for hog and cattle producers. Corn and soybean futures were mixed at the Chicago Board of trade ahead of the release of USDA’s reports.
Pork processors were facing an estimated loss of $11.40 per hog, which was not as bad as a loss of $33.55 on Monday, according to livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com. Profit margins for beef packers continued to weaken to $557.50 per head of cattle, down from $587.65 on Monday and $690.95 a week ago.
CME August live cattle futures settled 0.325 cent higher at 121.925 cents/lb. CME August feeder cattle rose 1.05 cents, to 157.4 cents/lb.
Prices for choice cuts of boxed beef were $292.34/cwt, down $5.09, and the select cutout dropped by $3.56 to $270.40/cwt, according to USDA.
— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago.