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CME update – cattle futures fall as consumer demand falters

19 March 2020

US livestock futures fell yesterday due to steep declines in the equities markets and uncertainty about consumer demand due to the ongoing pandemic.

According to reporting from Reuters, Tuesday’s market surge has reversed as questions about long-term demand weighed on prices and fears of the resilience of the restaurant industry re-emerged.

"It is a nervous trade centred around the coronavirus," said Don Roose at US Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. "Short-term demand is strong to very strong. Does that mean the demand sinks or stays strong? It is a very nervous, volatile market."

CME May feeder cattle futures contract settled down 3.325 cents at 108.525 cents per lb.

CME June live cattle futures were 3.825 cents lower at 85.925 cents per lb.

"The meat markets are reshaping supply lines," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a note to clients. "People are preparing to eat at home for a while, hoarding supplies from the meat case at their local supermarket."

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