LIVESTOCK-Live cattle firms on firm beef demand; cash market lifts hogs

Credit: REUTERS/Nathan Frandino

By Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures climbed on Friday, supported by robust beef prices that are likely to remain strong as retailers prepare for Labor Day demand through the month of August.

"The retailer will have beef going into the meat case, and that's going to keep the product market together," said Altin Kalo, economist at Steiner Consulting Group.

CME August live cattle futures LCQ2 added 0.275 cents to 136.450 cents per lb, while the most-active October LCV2 contract climbed 0.400 cents to 142.225 cents.

Wholesale beef prices climbed, with choice cuts adding $1.47 to $269.24 per cwt, according to the USDA, while select cuts gained $1.44 to $242.25 per cwt.

Outside economic forces could pressure beef demand, Kalo said, though fewer market-ready cattle should underpin live cattle futures.

"The talk of recession and slow down, that's going to weigh on the market. But at the same time, we're going to have fewer cattle to sell. At least for a minute here, it seems like this cattle market has a little more support, at least short term."

CME feeder cattle futures firmed, with most-active September feeder cattle futures FCU2 gaining 1.350 cents to 181.550 cents per lb.

Meanwhile, CME lean hog futures climbed on Friday, supported by strong cash prices that have lifted both nearby and the most-active October contracts.

"In the fall, we're going to have higher slaughter numbers, seasonally, but for a minute here, the strength in the hog market and the product market has surprised people and supported the front end," said Kalo.

The CME Lean Hog Index .IHX, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, added 85 cents to $120.58 per cwt, its highest since June 21, 2021.

CME's nearby August lean hog futures LHQ2 firmed 1.525 cents to 120.65 cents per lb, while the most-active October hogs LHV2 gained 0.900 cents to 97.225 cents.

(Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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