CME live cattle futures settle lower as Wall Street slides


Live cattle futures slipped at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) on Wednesday as the market came under pressure from steep losses in equities and a lack of supportive news, Reuters reported, citing brokers as its source.

December live cattle settled 1.475 cents lower at 151.575 cents per lb. February live cattle dropped 0.625 cent to 154.150 cents per lb and touched its lowest price since October 19.

Outside markets set a negative tone for cattle, said Matt Wiegand, commodity broker for FuturesOnes. Wall Street ended sharply lower, while oil prices sank.

Weakness in stocks and the risk for a recession raise concerns that consumers will reduce purchases of pricey steaks.

“You’re not seeing a lot of fresh bullish news,” Wiegand said.

Feeder cattle futures were also weaker at the CME, with the most-active January contract slipping 0.250 cent to end at 179.650 cents per lb.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in a monthly report, raised its estimate for 2022 domestic beef production, citing higher expected cattle slaughtering and heavier carcass weights. The agency lowered its 2023 production forecast due to tighter supplies of fed cattle and lower cow slaughtering.

Producers have reduced their herds due to drought in the western United States.

For pork, the USDA trimmed its 2022 production estimate due to a slower expected pace of slaughter and kept its 2023 forecast unchanged from October. The government raised its forecasts for cattle and hog prices for 2022.

On Wednesday, meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 129,000 cattle, which was unchanged from last week and up from 123,000 cattle a year ago, the USDA said separately. Hog slaughtering rose to an estimated 493,000 head from 488,000 hogs a week ago and 479,000 a year ago.

In hog futures, CME December lean hogs eased 0.300 cent to close at 85.275 cents per lb.

The USDA quoted the US pork carcass cutout value at $94.12 per hundredweight (cwt), down by $1.02 from Tuesday.