Lean hog futures fall, cattle eases - CME

A ban on poultry exports is causing a ripple effect
calendar icon 6 April 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) eased on Tuesday, pressured by a steady supply of market-ready cattle that may indicate a seasonal high in the market, reported Reuters.

"Five weeks in a row of generally steady trade for cash cattle is reminding the trade that we may already be at the spring high," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc.

Cash cattle traded mostly steady at $138.00 per cwt, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), with some $140.00 trade in Nebraska.

The most-active June live cattle contract lost 1.600 cents to 133.325 cents per pound. May feeder cattle ended 3.475 cents to 159.000 cents per pound, weighed down by rising corn futures.

Packers processed 125,000 head of cattle, 5,000 more than the same period a year earlier.

Boxed beef prices climbed, with choice cuts adding $3.49 to $271.53 per cwt, while select cuts gained $1.20 cents to $262.90.

Meanwhile, CME lean hog futures fell for a sixth consecutive session, pressured by fears of ripple effects in the wholesale meat market as international trade partners threaten to ban US poultry imports.

More than 22 million commercially raised US chickens and turkeys have been culled since February due to outbreaks of a highly lethal type of bird flu, USDA data showed.

A reduction of poultry exports would overshadow that reduction in birds, creating greater domestic poultry supply and competing with pork sales, Nelson said.

"The argument is that a 5% cut for US chicken exports, or a 10% cut, completely offsets any decline in bird production," Nelson added.

CME benchmark June lean hogs fell for a sixth consecutive session, dropping 1.800 cents to 114.350 cents per pound. The June contract fell below its 50-day moving average.

Daily hog slaughter of 480,000 head was slightly above week-ago and year-over-year volumes.

The CME's Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell 22 cents to $102.41 cents per pound.

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