Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures fell sharply on Wednesday, with the front-month Chicago Mercantile Exchange contract sinking 2.8 per cent to its lowest in more than two months.
Weakness in the cash market pressured hog futures, traders said.
CME July hogs settled down three cents at 104.525 cents/lb., its lowest since April 19, and actively traded August hogs ended down 2.975 cents at 100.725 cents (all figures US$).
The wholesale U.S. pork carcass cutout price fell $8.91, to $110.33, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The cutout was priced as low as 107.83 on Wednesday morning, its lowest since April 29.
Profit margins at pork processors were sharply lower with packers facing a loss of $60.23 per head, according to Denver-based livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com. That compares with a loss of $23.50 on Tuesday.
August live cattle futures settled 0.3 cent lower at 122.875 cents/lb. CME August feeder cattle ended down 2.65 cents at 155.7 cents/lb.
USDA quoted the choice boxed beef cutout value at $312.71/cwt on Wednesday morning, down $3.04 from Tuesday, and the select cutout down $4.93 at $274.82/cwt.
Analysts were expecting a U.S. Agriculture Department report on Friday to show that the amount of cattle on feed as of June 1 stood at 100.5 per cent of the year-earlier total. Placements during May were seen at 95.4 per cent of the May 2020 total and marketings at 123.4 per cent.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.