Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures ended mixed on Monday as late-session bargain buying only partly offset pressure from adequate cattle supplies and global economic concerns that threatened to blunt demand for beef.
“The cattle market can’t seem to catch a break. Boxed beef has been trending down and there are plenty of cattle around,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.
“It looks like the outside influence with the equity market is spooking the meat markets, especially cattle.”
Global markets and crude oil slumped and the dollar firmed as troubles at property group China Evergrande sparked concerns about spillover risks to the economy.
Wholesale beef cutout values have tumbled sharply from August highs as demand normally slows at the end of the summer. The choice boxed beef cutout was up $1.19 on Monday at $315.66/cwt, but down almost 10 per cent from a month ago, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data (all figures US$).
CME October live cattle futures ended down 0.025 cent at 122.775 cents/lb. December live cattle, the only contract that closed higher on the day, was up 0.55 cent at 128.075 cents.
Feeder cattle futures drew support from lower feed grain prices. Benchmark November feeders settled 0.525 cent higher at 156.625 cents/lb.
CME lean hog contracts were lower on Monday on seasonally rising supplies, although they closed above the day’s lows as spot futures remain at a steep discount to cash prices.
October lean hogs ended down 0.75 cent at 84.975 cents/lb. while actively traded December was down 0.825 cent at 74.225 cents/lb.
— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.