Chicago | Reuters – Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures climbed on Friday, supported by elevated cash cattle trade and stronger wholesale beef prices, analysts said.
“I think it’s a combination of things, including packers trying to get beef into the pipeline before the Labor day features,” said Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing. “Cash trade was better this week in the south. We saw some $122 trade, which we haven’t seen for a while down there.”
Benchmark CME October live cattle futures gained 0.300 cent to 127.875 cents per pound. CME September feeder cattle futures firmed 2.175 cents to settle at 163.325 cents per pound.
For the week, October live cattle gained 0.675 cents per pound, while September feeder cattle lifted 1.525 cents per pound.
Wholesale beef prices climbed, with Choice cuts gaining $3.68 to $296.26 per cwt, while select cuts firmed $3.32 to $277.09 per cwt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, lean hog futures gained after trading limit-down the day prior, regaining ahead of the weekend.
CME August lean hog futures closed down 0.725 at 108.750 cents per pound, while benchmark October hogs gained 0.475 cents to 87.600 cents per pound, falling 0.425 cents per pound for the week.
As August futures near expiration, October futures and cash prices will likely ease in line with the seasonal increase in market-ready hogs and heavier weights, said Brugler.
“It’s not uncommon to see the cash come down,” he said. “You start to get carcass weights back up, your fall (slaughter) run is bigger.”
The CME’s lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash prices, climbed to $112.48 per hundredweight (cwt).