U.S. livestock: CME hogs near three-week low amid ample supply

Chicago cattle futures also lower

CME December 2021 lean hogs (candlesticks) with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages (pink, dark red and black lines). (Barchart)
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Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures fell to their lowest prices in about three weeks on Wednesday amid pressure from plentiful supplies, analysts said.

Live cattle and feeder cattle futures also finished lower at CME.

Hog supplies tend to increase in the autumn, pushing more pork on the market and weighing on prices, said Matt Wiegand, a commodity broker for FuturesOnes. The supplies leave meatpackers with little incentive to increase bids to buy pigs for processing, he said.

“We continue to move into a more plentiful seasonal time frame,” he said.

Most-active December lean hogs ended down 0.025 cent at 78.15 cents/lb. and hit their lowest price since Sept. 24 (all figures US$). The contract has dropped 8.5 per cent since the beginning of the month.

Front-month October hogs closed 0.425 cent weaker at 88.65 cents/lb.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a weekly report on Tuesday, lowered its forecast for 2021 U.S. pork exports because of weaker demand from China, the world’s top pork consumer.

Chinese purchases of U.S. beef, however, are booming.

China is the biggest beef market and there is still a lot of demand there, said Lindsay Kuberka, director of global commodity analysis for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

“We continue to see very strong demand in China, so of course we’re pretty optimistic about continued growth in that market,” she said at an annual meeting for users of USDA data.

Most-active December live cattle futures settled down 0.25 cent at 129 cents/lb. February live cattle fell 0.7 cent to 133.55 cents/lb.

Most-active November feeder cattle contract slumped 0.825 cent to 160.975 cents/lb., while the January contract dropped 1.325 cents to 161.45 cents.

Choice cuts of boxed beef slid by $1.05, to $280.02/cwt, while select cuts fell by $2.65, to $258.70/cwt, according to USDA data.

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

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