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Cattle futures rise, hog futures slip - CME

21 March 2022

Traders uncertain about consumer demand amidst rising food prices

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle futures firmed on Friday as nearby grain futures slumped, even as the cash trade continued to be disappointing and investors kept a close eye on diplomatic efforts to end Russia's invasion of Ukraine, traders said.

CME cattle futures were also supported as retail demand for beef perked up, analysts said, as the industry starts preparing for increased beef demand with the United States gearing up for the summer grilling season, reported Reuters.

But there's some growing debate in the trading community about whether rising inflation increasing consumer food and fuel prices could quash the public's demand for steaks and high-end beef cuts this summer, said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst at Agrivisor.

"I don't think our grilling demand will back off, because what else are you going to spend money on right now," Setzer said. "You can't get a new car and people aren't buying houses like they were. The one thing people will buy to make them feel better is food."

CME's most-active June live cattle rose 1.150 cents to 137.075 cents per lb. April feeder cattle rose 1.225 cents to 162.325 cents per lb, while most-active May feeder cattle rose 1.575 cents to $167.450 per lb.

Choice cuts of boxed beef rose by $2.56 to $259.61 per cwt by Friday morning, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Select cuts gained 83-cents to $251.51 per cwt.

Meanwhile, lean hog futures slipped on a day of choppy trading, as packer margins rose and the daily slaughter rate ticked down on the day, according to government data.

CME April lean hog futures fell 0.950 cent to end at 99.400 cents per pound. Most-active June hogs fell 0.900 cent to finish at 116.075 cents per pound.

Source: Reuters



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