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LIVESTOCK-CME hog futures top two-week high; cattle futures ease

04/18/2022 | 05:15pm

CHICAGO, April 18 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures rallied to their highest price in more than two weeks on Monday, while live cattle and feeder cattle futures weakened.

Hopes for increased domestic demand from summertime grilling and cookouts helped lift hog futures, analysts said. They added that surging grain and soybean futures raised concerns that hog weights will decline as livestock feed becomes more expensive.

CME June lean hogs settled up 3.925 cents at 122.400 cents per pound and touched their highest price since April 1. The contract has jumped 9% since nearing a one-month low on April 5.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the pork carcass value was down 72 cents at $109.49 per cwt, with lower ham prices weighing on the cutout value.

Typically, the pork cutout value gradually improves leading up to the summer grilling season, Steiner Consulting Group said in a report.

"Although March retail pork prices were a record, the sluggish pork cutout in recent weeks will likely lead to a pullback in April retail pork prices," the report said.

U.S. pork exports have dropped this year amid a decline in shipments to China, the world's biggest pork consumer.

China posted its highest quarterly pork production in more than three years during January through March, data showed on Monday, reflecting a boost in breeding following a disease-led decline.

In the cattle markets, CME June live cattle futures settled down 0.625 cent at 135.800 cents per pound. The contract pulled back after reaching its highest price since April 1 earlier in the session.

May feeder cattle futures fell 2.625 cents to end at 159.150 cents per pound.

China's General Administration of Customs suspended imports from three Brazilian beef exporters - JBS SA, Marfrig and Naturafrig - for one week starting Saturday, the newspaper Valor Economico reported. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Aditya Soni)

© Reuters 2022
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