By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, May 4 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
nearby live cattle futures on Thursday rose for a third
straight day, led by bullish market fundamentals before
profit-taking pulled contracts from new highs, said traders.
June settled 1.250 cent per pound higher at 131.300
cents, and spiked by its 4.500-cent expanded trading limit and a
new high of 134.550 cents. August ended up 0.375 cent to
124.175 cents, and hit a high of 127.500 cents.
On Friday CME live cattle will resume its normal 3.000-cent
price limit after failing to settle up or down the 4.500-cent
expanded limit on Thursday.
Thursday morning's average wholesale beef price, or cutout,
climbed $1.25 per cwt to $233.84. Select cuts were up 43 cents
to $215.32, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
Packers this week paid $140 to $147 per cwt for
market-ready, or cash, cattle that last week brought $134 to
Last weekend's snowstorm in the U.S. Plains, which disrupted
livestock movement, and tight packer inventories drove up cash
prices and supported nearby futures, said KIS Futures vice
president Lane Broadbent.
Spring grilling and grocers finalizing Mother's Day meat
purchases helped boost beef cutout values, said analysts and
An analyst said brisk beef demand could slow given increased
year-over-year beef production. And beef prices historically
tend to taper off beginning around late May, he added.
Profit-taking sank feeder cattle futures that earlier on
Thursday peaked at new highs. After failing to settle up or down
its expanded 6.750-cents limit, feeders will resume their normal
4.500-cents trading limit on Friday.
May feeder cattle ended 5.025 cents per pound lower
at 148.275 cents, and made a new high of 156.750 cents.
HOGS SETTLE HIGHER
Rising cash and wholesale pork prices lifted CME lean hog
contracts into bullish territory for a third consecutive session
and to six-week highs, said traders.
They said technical buying provided more hog futures
Thinly-traded May closed 1.050 cents per pound
higher at 69.000 cents. Most actively traded June ended
0.925 cent higher at 76.475 cents and topped the 100-day moving
average of 76.124 cents.
Some processors raised cash bids while capitalizing on their
still profitable, but slipping, margins, said traders. They also
expect hog numbers to begin tightening seasonally, which may
support cash prices.
They said a few grocers are buying pork for the U.S.
Memorial Day holiday, the unofficial start of the summer
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by James Dalgleish)