Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange feeder cattle futures climbed on Monday, as supplies tightened in the northern U.S. Plains, traders said.
“You’ve got a lot of empty yards,” said Scott Varilek, broker at Kooima Kooima Varilek Trading Inc. “We don’t have a lot of large supplies, large runs. You’re going to have to pay up for them.”
CME August feeder cattle finished 1.75 cents higher at 157.375 cents/lb. (all figures US$).
Live cattle were pressured by seasonally softer beef demand and larger market-ready supplies in the southern U.S. plains, though tighter supplies supported cash live cattle in the north, with Nebraska trading at $123/cwt, versus $120 in Oklahoma and Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CME’s most-active October live cattle futures ended down 0.5 cent at 125.1 cents/lb., though nearby August futures firmed 0.075 cent to 120.25 cents.
Boxed beef prices fell, with select cuts losing $2.30, to $249.49/cwt and choice cuts dropping $1.45, to $266.49/cwt, USDA said.
Meanwhile, lean hog futures eased as producers rebuild the U.S. hog herd, with the October contract falling on expectations of more market-ready hogs available by the fall.
“They’re going to be coming up on more numbers,” said Varilek, noting the deferred contracts could still firm moving into the fall.
CME August lean hog futures eased 1.175 cents on Monday to 104.475 cents/lb., while October lost 1.375 cents to 89.375 cents.
The CME’s lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash prices, climbed to $111.89/cwt, its highest since June 29.
Daily hog slaughter increased to 457,000 head on Monday, up 1.78 per cent versus the week prior, USDA said.
— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.