Thursday, December 1

CME cattle, hogs advance on technical buying, short-covering

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CHICAGO — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle, feeder cattle and lean hog futures strengthened on Monday on technical buying and short covering, after recent selloffs were overdone, brokers said.

Concerns about the risks for a global recession, which could reduce demand for beef, continued to hang over livestock markets, brokers said. Wall Street closed higher on the first trading day of the fourth quarter, after a September selloff not seen in two decades.

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Cattle producers also remain nervous about the potential for higher-priced corn, which makes animal feed more expensive. The US Department of Agriculture on Friday reported quarterly US corn inventories that were below analysts’ expectations.

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CME October live cattle ended 1.050 cents higher at 144.325 cents per lb, while the most-active December contract rose 0.975 cent to 148.025 cents. December live cattle on Thursday fell to their lowest price since July 18 at 145.575 cents.

CME November feeder cattle closed 1.425 cents firmer at 176.050 cents per lb on Monday, after the contract on Thursday hit its lowest price since June 1 at 174.225 cents.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 127,000 cattle on Monday, up from 125,000 cattle a week earlier and 120,000 cattle a year ago, the USDA said.

In the pork sector, packers slaughtered an estimated 472,000 hogs, the agency said. That compared to 484,000 hogs a week ago and 465,000 hogs a year ago.

Demand for hogs from packers helped support most CME lean hog futures, a broker said. Most-active December hogs closed up 1.500 cents at 77.725 cents per lb. Last week, the contract hit its lowest price since December.

In other news, Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA is closing its US plant-based protein business after about two years, the company said, as the sector suffers from waning consumer demand. JBS said it will focus its plant-based business on operations in Brazil and Europe. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago)