U.S. livestock: Nearby hogs up in rebound off six-month low

CME cattle futures slide

CME December 2021 lean hogs (candlesticks) with Bollinger bands (20,2). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures ended higher in nearby contract months on Wednesday, as the market rebounded from a drop to its lowest prices in more than six months.

Most-active December hogs recovered after dropping 12.5 per cent since the start of the month on concerns about slowing U.S. pork exports and rising supplies, analysts said.

Deferred hog contracts still finished lower.

“Exports are slowing. That’s a fact,” said Dennis Smith, commodity broker at Archer Financial Services.

CME October lean hog futures ended up 1.9 cents at 82.275 cents/lb., after falling on Tuesday to their lowest price since March 4 (all figures US$). December hogs edged up 0.075 cent, to 72.25 cents/lb., after reaching their lowest price since Feb. 25 earlier on Wednesday.

In the cattle markets, futures prices were mostly lower amid concerns about softening demand.

CME December live cattle closed down 0.2 cent at 129.45 cents/lb. after falling on Monday to its lowest price since June 1 at 125.675 cents.

October feeder cattle slid 1.65 cents, to 156.5 cents/lb. after touching its lowest since June 11 on Monday at 154.775 cents.

The markets may have established near-term floors for prices on Monday, when a fire at a major JBS beef plant in Nebraska raised concerns that ranchers would lose a place to deliver cattle for slaughter, analysts said.

“We flushed this market of speculative length,” Smith said. “We’ve taken a lot of the premium out of the board.”

Traders on Thursday will review export sales data for U.S. beef and pork.

Brazil continued to ship beef to China after an export ban took effect earlier this month, with the two sides in talks on what to do with possibly thousands of tonnes of meat in legal limbo, according to analysts and people with knowledge of the matter.

— Tom Polansek reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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