Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures eased to the lowest levels since November on Thursday, pressured by technical selling and weaker cash cattle prices, traders said.
The most-active CME October live cattle contract knocked out its lows from last week, triggering selling that brought prices to fresh multimonth lows before they recouped a portion of their losses by the end of the session.
October cattle settled down 0.725 cent at 105.400 cents per pound. The settlement was nearly at parity with cash cattle trades in the southern U.S. Plains of $105 per cwt, which was down from sales last week of $106 to $107.
The August cattle contract expired at midday 1.025 cents lower at 104.525 cents. Cattle on a continuous chart declined 6.7 percent for the month, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.
“The market structure is not bullish … the chart continues to trend lower and needs to be respected,” said Top Third Ag Marketing broker Craig VanDyke, adding that cattle supplies were ample and beef production expected to increase in the fourth quarter.
Feeder cattle futures also eased, tracking declines in live cattle. Rebounding corn futures could also raise costs for fattening cattle, potentially eating in to profit margins and reducing demand for cattle feedlots.
Most-active CME October feeders finished 0.825 cent lower at 143.300 cents per pound while August feeders expired down 0.l75 cent at 142.725 cents.
Lean hog futures were mostly higher, extending gains from the previous session after hitting roughly nine-month lows on Tuesday. Short covering continued to buoy prices despite weakening wholesale pork and pork belly prices.
Front-month October hog futures finished 0.050 cent higher at 61.400 cents per pound and December hogs up 0.825 cent to 58.025 cents.
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