Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures climbed on Friday as pork demand remained firm and supplies of market-ready hogs stayed low, analysts said.
“At some point though, you would think the wholesale price would put a damper on demand, at some point in the summer,” said Doug Houghton technical analyst at Brock Capital Management. “Everything just looks tight and pork demand looks strong near term.”
CME June hog futures climbed to a contract high of 117.6 cents/lb. and settled 1.525 cents higher at 117.25 cents. Actively traded July hogs added 2.65 cents to 119.35 cents/lb., adding 2.4 per cent for the week.
Daily hog slaughter dipped 8.2 per cent versus a week ago, with 425,000 head processed.
Feeder cattle futures dipped, pressured by strengthening corn futures, while live cattle eased as strong beef demand and ample market ready cattle offer packers strong margins and little incentive to strengthen the cash market.
“I think there’s anticipation there is going to be some weakness in the product market ahead,” said Houghton. “Right now, it doesn’t seem like there’s a huge near-term upside for cattle prices.”
Boxed beef prices were mostly firmer, with choice cuts adding 99 cents, to $330.97/cwt, while select cuts eased $3.20, to $300.90/cwt.
August live cattle futures eased 0.825 cent to 118.6 cents/lb., while August feeder cattle fell 1.5 cents to 152.85 cents/lb.. For the week, live cattle dropped 2.325 cents.
Cash cattle trade was light across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, ranging from $116 to $120 per head, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Daily cattle slaughter was 2,000 head fewer than a week ago, at 117,000 head.
— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.