CME update: cattle futures advance on strong meat demand

US live and feeder cattle futures rose on 2 February as both domestic and export demand for beef improve.
calendar icon 3 February 2021
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Reuters reports that CME April live cattle ended 0.825 cent higher at 122.525 cents per pound. March feeder cattle finished up 1.200 cents at 139.125 cents per pound.

Strong export and domestic demand for US beef has helped support cattle futures, analysts said.

"It's more of a demand story today than anything else," said Altin Kalo, agricultural economist for Steiner Consulting. "That's what's driving the livestock."

Prices for choice cuts of boxed beef jumped by $1.08 to $236.76 per cwt, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Prices for select cuts eased by $0.55 to $225.04 per cwt, after a recent surge.

"Meat prices have really escalated, and it's certainly caught a lot of people by surprise," Kalo said.

In China, the world's top meat consumer, the government has stepped up sales of meat in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts next week, when meat consumption typically peaks in the country.

China has grappled with outbreaks of a deadly hog disease, African swine fever, since it was detected there in August 2018, raising the need for meat imports.

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Source: Reuters

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