CHICAGO/NEW YORK Bone-chilling cold that paralyzed a chunk of the United States this week and killed at least 18 people eased on Friday as an errant Arctic air mass retreated ahead of a warmer-than-normal weekend in areas of the Midwest and Northeast.
CHICAGO Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens in the teeth of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds.
CHICAGO Hog slaughterhouses and grain elevators were shut down in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday as the coldest temperatures in years gripped the region.
CHICAGO, Jan 30 Hog slaughterhouses and grain
elevators were shut down in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday as the
coldest temperatures in years gripped the region.
CHICAGO Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens before hunkering down for a day of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds.
CHICAGO A steep downturn in U.S. ethanol output linked to the trade war with China is raising costs for American farmers who feed a byproduct of the corn-based biofuel to hogs, cattle and chickens.
By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, Jan 4 Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures slumped to a two-week low on Friday,
extending a decline to the fifth consecutive session on pressure
from technical selling, traders and analysts said.
Feeder cattle and lean hog futures also
eased, with feeders weighed down by rising corn prices
that raised costs to fatten animals.
Cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at mostly $123 per cwt
on Thursday - sales that were about unchanged from the previous
week and a sell signal for some futures traders.
"The steady cash must have been a disappointment. A lot of
the trade expected it to go higher," said Archer Financial
Services broker Dennis Smith.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said cash
cattle trades on Thursday in the Plains totaled 50,500 head at
an average price of $122.83 per cwt.
CME February live cattle settled down 1.300 cent at
121.925 cents per pound, the lowest level since Dec. 20. The
contract's weekly decline of 1.8 percent was the biggest since
early in November.
CME March feeder cattle were off 1.625 cents to
142.825 cents per pound, the lowest since Dec. 18.
Cattle prices last week reached multi-month highs before
turning lower this week.
"Live and feeder cattle failed to bounce back on the
challenging week," CHS Hedging said in a client note.
CME February hog futures settled down 0.200 cent at
61.950 cents per pound as some investors took profits after the
hog market climbed for three straight sessions.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by Leslie Adler)
By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, Jan 3 U.S. cattle futures eased as much
as 1 percent on Thursday, weighed down by technical selling and
steady deals in cash markets in the southern Plains, traders and
Live cattle futures weakened for the fourth straight
session on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The market had
climbed to life-of-contract highs on Dec. 31, partially on
expectations that snows, rains and falling temperatures last
week in the U.S. Plains would hamper the transportation of
livestock and bolster cash prices.
But prices have given back some of those gains, with the
front-month February live cattle finishing down 0.300
cent to 123.225 cents per pound, a one-week low.
CME March feeder cattle eased 1.500 cent to 144.450
cents, lowest since Dec. 20.
Cash cattle prices late last week surged about $4 per cwt to
$123 per cwt. Trade developed at those same prices on Thursday
in Kansas and Nebraska, disappointing some traders who had
anticipated higher prices.
However, the price levels likely were attractive to feedlots
which had already hedged positions in the futures market,
according to cattle analyst David Hales.
"It's a good number. It's a great basis," Hales said.
The basis is the difference between cash cattle sales and
the backing futures price.
Hales added that demand from beef packers was relatively
strong after few animals traded last week.
Cargill Inc , a major beef packer and one of the
world's largest privately held businesses, reported a 20 percent
decline in quarterly earnings on Thursday, pressured in part by
the struggling Chinese hog sector.
However, Cargill's beef business remained strong.
"Performance in North American protein moved higher, as robust
demand for beef and large supplies of fed cattle boosted beef
production and sales to domestic and export markets," Cargill
said in a release.
Lean hog futures were mostly higher but held below
Wednesday's session peaks as traders continued to bet on a
pickup in U.S. pork exports to China. China, battling the highly
contagious African swine fever virus, continued to cull hog
herds and was widely expected to boost meat imports at some
point this year.
CME February hogs were up 0.450 cent to 62.150
"February hogs traded above the 200-day moving average for
the second day in a row but was unable to settle above that
level at $62.52," CHS Hedging said in a market note.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Richard Chang)
By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, Jan 2 U.S. lean hog futures
jumped to a nearly two-week high on Wednesday on speculation
that exports of American pork to China will rise in the coming
months, traders and analysts said.
Representatives from the United States and China were
negotiating to end the trade war between the world's biggest
economies that has impeded shipments of pork, soybeans and other
goods. China also was working to slow the spread of the highly
contagious African swine fever virus.
Each factor could boost exports of U.S. pork to China, where
the ASF virus has forced the top consumer of the meat to cull
China on Wednesday reported a new outbreak on a farm with
73,000 pigs in Heilongjiang province while the agriculture
ministry said slaughterhouses will have to test pig products for
presence of the virus before selling them at market.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange February lean hog futures
surged as much as 4 percent to a high of 63.425 cents
per pound before the contract settled at 61.700 cents, up 0.725.
"The news of ASF at the really big farm in China was the
catalyst," independent livestock futures trader Dan Norcini said
of the rally in hog futures. He added that some commercial hog
operations likely sold futures to lock in higher prices, which
helped bring prices off their highs.
China still has a 25 percent tariff on imports of American
pork. Buyers in China have increased purchases of U.S. pork in
recent weeks for supplies to be shipped at some point in 2019.
But more sales were needed to convince some traders that China
would buy enough pork to help eliminate large U.S. stockpiles.
"This is another feather in the cap for the bulls, but we
still don't have any business to China," Norcini said of pork
Cattle futures were mostly lower on Wednesday, weakening on
technical selling amid a lack of news to propel gains.
CME February live cattle settled down 0.350 cent at
123.525 cents per pound and CME March feeder cattle shed
0.800 cent to end at 145.950 cents per pound.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by Tom Brown)
PHILADELPHIA/CHICAGO Pacific Ethanol Inc plans to idle the western portion of its ethanol plant in Aurora, Nebraska, over the next two weeks amid historically weak margins that have forced the industry to throttle back production, according to three sources familiar with the plant's operations.