U.S. livestock: Hog futures rally on technical bounce

June live cattle up, August feeders down

CME June 2021 lean hogs (candlesticks) with 20-day moving average (pink line) and June 2021 live cattle (red high/low/close). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Lean hog futures rallied on Tuesday, rising 1.8 per cent on a technical bounce after three straight days of declines pushed prices to their lowest since April 30, traders said.

Concerns about a tightening of supplies during grilling season added support.

“We are still watching weekly hog slaughter rates,” said Rich Nelson, chief market strategist for Illinois-based broker Allendale.

U.S. Agriculture Department data showed the daily hog slaughter held steady at 478,000 head after hitting its lowest in nearly six weeks on Friday.

In the lean hog market, CME June futures settled up two cents at 110.65 cents/lb. (all figures US$). The contract broke through resistance at its 20-day moving average.

On the cash front, the pork cutout value eased from its one-year high of $118.27 hit early on Tuesday to $116.06 by the end of the day, according to USDA data.

CME June live cattle futures jumped 1.4 cents to 116.75 cents/lb., with traders saying the market remained oversold after plunging 2.5 per cent on Thursday.

August feeder cattle dropped 0.825 cent to 151.925 cents/lb.

Argentina announced a 30-day halt on meat exports on Monday amid rising prices that have spooked the government as it struggles with runaway inflation ahead of key midterm elections at the end of the year.

Traders said Argentina’s move, which caused farm groups in that country to halt trading of livestock in protest, was having little effect on futures prices.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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