Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures dropped on Friday as cash market prices this week were lower than anticipated, while lean hog futures dropped for a third straight session, reported Reuters.
Weakening wholesale beef prices added pressure to live cattle, along with adequate supplies of animals available to packers through the summer.
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) monthly cattle on feed report, released after the close, showed the 1 February inventory of US cattle and calves on feed rose 1% from a year earlier and was the highest on record for that date. The figure, however, was largely in line with market expectations.
Fed cattle at US Plains markets traded mostly at $141 to $142 per cwt this week, steady to down $1 from the prior week and below early-week expectations.
«Cash cattle sales were certainly a disappointment for the week,» said Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale Inc.
CME April live cattle ended 0.375 cent lower at 141.925 cents per pound, the lowest in nearly a month. The contract, however, found some technical chart support around its 100-day moving average, limiting a further slide.
Feeder cattle futures bucked the broader decline in livestock markets to close higher, supported by a sharp drop in feed corn costs.
CME March feeder cattle gained 0.925 cent to settle at 160.025 cents per pound, while April feeders rose 0.950 cent to 164.750 cents.
Lean hogs extended a recent drop after hitting contract highs at midweek in a continued market correction.
CME April hog futures fell 1.850 cents to settle at 103.675 cents per pound, while June hogs ended down 2.225 cents at 113.875 cents per pound.