By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Oct 29 (Reuters) – U.S. live cattle futures closed
higher on Thursday on expectations that tight cattle supplies
and rising demand for beef will buoy cash cattle markets,
Cash cattle traded lightly in the southern Plains this week
at $106 per cwt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported,
even with last week. But a drop in feedlot placements last
spring, as the coronavirus outbreak hit slaughterhouse workers,
should limit the flow of cattle into beef-packing plants for the
next couple of months.
“The numbers on the cattle market are going to run under a
year ago, as far as the kill, from now until mid-December,” said
Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.
“It’s that combination, that the numbers are going to
continue to contract … and the demand is solid,” Roose said of
the strength in CME futures. He noted that beef demand tends to
rise this time of year as retailers fill meat cases in
preparation for the holiday season.
Beef packer margins have cooled over the last month, but
packers are still earning about $180 per head, according to
Denver-based livestock marketing advisory service
Chicago Mercantile Exchange December live cattle futures
settled up 3.3 cents, or 3.2%, at 107.975 cents per
pound, the contract’s biggest single-day jump since May. CME
January feeder cattle rose 1.400 cents to end at 131.350
cents per pound.
Boxed beef prices rose, with choice cuts up $1.53 at $207.32
per cwt and select cuts up $1.65 at $191.23, according to USDA
CME hog futures fell for a third straight session, pressured
by softening wholesale pork prices and lackluster demand from
CME December lean hogs futures ended down 0.750 cent
at 65.625 cents per pound.
The USDA reported export sales of U.S. 2020 pork in the week
ended Oct. 22 at 29,000 tonnes, but sales to China were
underwhelming at 2,500 tonnes, the second-smallest tally since
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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