CME update: live cattle futures rise against cash markets

CME live cattle futures firmed while feeder cattle fell slightly ahead of the 22 May USDA cattle on feed report.
calendar icon 22 May 2020
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Reuters reports that the June live cattle futures contract added 0.4 cent at 98.8 cents per lb, while August live cattle closed 0.6 cent higher at 98.225 cents per lb.

Feeder cattle contracts didn’t perform as well, with the August contract sliding .125 cent to 128.875 cents per lb.

The USDA reported Thursday’s daily cattle slaughter totals at 103,000 – the highest since 7 April.

Despite the uptick in slaughter numbers, the US kill rate remains below pre-COVID-19 averages. This trend can be attributed to outbreaks of coronavirus at slaughter facilities, leading to plant closures. This has created a processing bottleneck, leaving cattle at farms even though they are ready for market.

USDA showed a slight drop in cold storage meat supplies on 21 May, with beef dropping 2 percent from April, but still 14 percent higher than last year.

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