November 29, 2021
CME live cattle futures set new contract highs
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) live cattle futures set new highs on November 26 and finished stronger on technical buying and firm cash prices, traders said.
The front-month December contract and most-active February 2022 contract avoided losses seen in commodities like crude oil and soybeans that were unnerved by the discovery of a new variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus in South Africa.
Demand from meat processors has lifted cash prices for fed cattle by up to US$4 per cwt in parts of the US Midwest compared with the week before, traders said.
"Packer run rates have been good," said Matt Wiegand, a commodity broker for FuturesOne. "They paid up for cattle."
CME February live cattle closed 0.325 cent higher at 141.200 cents per pound and reached a contract high of 141.450. December live cattle finished 0.200 cent higher at 138.100 cents and set a high of 138.350.
CME January feeder cattle rose 0.225 cent to 167.150 cents per pound and reached its highest price since September 2.
Feeders look overbought after recent gains, Wiegand said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we see a short-term correction here into the beginning of December."
In the pork market, CME February lean hogs settled 3.225 cents lower at 81.025 cents per pound. The contract dropped to its lowest price since November 15 at 80.425 cents, after reaching its highest since October 8 at 84.675 cents.
In a weekly report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported 2021 US pork export sales were 17,500 tonnes in the week ended November 18. That was down 30% from the previous week and 43% from the prior four-week average. Net sales were 15,600 tonnes for 2022.
US beef export sales of 19,300 tonnes for 2021 were down 24% from the previous week and 6% from the prior four-week average, USDA said. Sales for 2022 were 5,800 tonnes.