U.S. livestock: Live cattle down on profit taking

Cash markets support CME lean hogs

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures dropped on a profit-taking setback on Wednesday, a day after rallying to their highest in nearly a year, but worries about a cold snap across production regions of the Plains kept declines in check.

Hog futures rebounded after closing mixed on Tuesday as strong cash markets led the way higher.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) February hogs rose 0.95 cent to close at 73.55 cents/lb. (all figures US$). April hogs, the most active contract, ended up 1.45 cent at 81.825 cents/lb.

On a continuous basis, the front-month contract peaked at 73.95 cents, its highest on a continuous basis since Oct. 15, 2020. New contract highs in hog futures were noted across the board.

The cash pork carcass cutout value rose to $86.86/cwt on Tuesday, up $1.50 from the prior day, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed.

The average pork packer margin dropped $5.75, to $31.10 per head, according to livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com.

Spot CME February live cattle dropped 1.325 cent, to 116.125 cents/lb., while actively traded April futures fell 1.125 cent, to 122.7 cents/lb.

March feeder cattle gained 0.85 cent to close at 139.5 cents/lb.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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