CHICAGO — Chicago Mercantile Exchange cattle futures ended mixed on Monday, as cattle prices began to see a seasonal bounce and cash cattle traders were expected to firm slightly this week, traders said.
CME lean hog futures, meanwhile, slipped on technical trading and some signs of profit-taking, traders said.
On Monday, October lean hogs settled down 0.300 cent at 89.950 cents per pound. Most-active December lean hogs slipped 1.325 cents to close at 80.175 cents.
There was also news that some pork processors may be allowed to speed up their lines. The Biden administration is considering a proposal that could allow some pork plants to slaughter pigs more quickly if they boost staffing, a union official said, after a US court struck down a Trump-era rule that removed line speed limits.
Faster slaughtering would help processors increase pork production at a time of high demand and soaring bacon prices.
US wholesale cutout values reported by the USDA firmed. The carcass value rose $1.02 to $108.01 per hundredweight (cwt) and pork belly values jumped $5.15 to $208.53 per cwt. But ham values continued to fall, down $6.62 to $68.46 per cwt.
And China continued its pork buying spree: On Monday, China’s commerce ministry said it bought 30,000 tonnes of pork for state reserves on Oct. 10, the latest in a series of purchases.
In the cattle market, the most-active November feeder cattle contract inched up 0.650 cent at 161.725 cents per pound, after rising earlier in the session to 161.950 cents.
In CME’s live cattle market, front-month October futures settled the day up 1.05 cents at 125.625 cents per pound. The most-active December live cattle contract settled the day down 0.075 cent at 130.175 cents per pound.
Choice cuts of boxed beef fell by 15 cents to $283.12 per cwt, while select cuts rose by $1.69 to $264.43 per cwt, according to the US Department of Agriculture on Monday. (Reporting By PJ Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)