U.S. livestock: Cattle, hog futures follow equities higher

August feeder cattle close limit-up

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. cattle and hog futures rallied on Tuesday in tandem with rising stock markets as optimism about developing coronavirus vaccines and the revival of business activity buoyed livestock markets battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Supportive cattle and meat supply data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture late last week showing accelerated meat demand and a shrinking cattle herd further underpinned prices.

Livestock futures trading resumed on Tuesday following the extended U.S. Memorial Day weekend, traditionally a peak meat demand holiday.

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“The market, because of the summer grilling season, came into the first of the three major summer holidays feeling good about recovering demand,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.

U.S. beef and pork prices soared to all-time highs this month on concerns about meat shortages following coronavirus infections at processing plants. Prices have eased from those peaks, but remain at historically high levels.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange June live cattle ended 1.7 cents higher at 99.4 cents/lb., while actively traded August futures rose 1.925 cents to 99.25 cents/lb. (all figures US$).

Benchmark August feeder cattle futures rallied by the 4.5-cent daily trading limit to close at 133.3 cents/lb. after breaking through technical chart resistance at its 10- and 20-day moving averages. The limit-up close triggered an expanded trading limit of 6.75 cents for Wednesday.

June lean hogs gained 1.725 cents to settle at 60.5 cents/lb., while actively traded July futures added 3.675 cents to end at 59.575 cents/lb.

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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