Chicago | Reuters — Live cattle futures rose to their highest in more than a month on Thursday, supported by signs of a stabilizing cash market and concerns about tight supplies in the coming months, traders said.
“The feedlots believe… that we have a marketing hole for most of October into December,” Don Roose, president at U.S. Commodities, said.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange October live cattle settled 0.875 cent higher at 108.025 cents/lb. and December gained 1.075 cents to end at 112.275 cents (all figures US$).
The front-month contract topped out at 108.2, its highest since Aug. 17.
CME October feeder cattle settled 0.75 cent higher at 142.275 cents/lb., and most-active November ended up 0.7 cent at 142.35 cents.
CME October lean hog futures settled 0.025 cent lower to end at 69.475 cents per pound and most-active December hogs dropped 1.075 cents to 63.275 cents.
After the market closed, a U.S. Agriculture Department report showed that the hog herd as of Sept. 1 was 100.7 per cent of the year earlier total. Analysts had been expecting 100.1 per cent, according to a Reuters survey.
The report would likely weigh on the market tomorrow, with the bigger-than-expected herd showing that the contraction related to COVID-19 was not as bad as feared, Roose said.
USDA will release its monthly Cattle on Feed report on Friday. The average of analysts’ estimates forecast that figure would come in at 11.344 million head, 103.3 per cent of a year ago. Placements were seen at 105.8 per cent of a year ago.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago.