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CME update: live cattle futures slip on end-month profit-taking

01 February 2021

US live cattle futures closed lower on 29 January as traders booked profits at the end of the week and month while Wall Street equity markets declined.

Reuters reports that lower-than-expected cash cattle trades added to bearish sentiment. Market-ready cattle traded in the cash market as high as $113 per cwt, traders said, up $3 from the bulk of last week's trade at $110.

However, the price was lower than some had expected, given robust packer margins and a steady climb in wholesale beef prices throughout the month of January.

"The cash (cattle trade) is not as strong as we were hoping, based on the strength in the beef. You tie that in with the selling in the stock market, and the rest was technicals taking over," said Dan Norcini, an independent livestock trader.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange April live cattle settled down 0.850 cent at 121.850 cents per pound. For the month of January, the contract rose 2.600 cents, or 2.2 percent, inviting profit-taking by speculators.

Feeder cattle futures sagged as corn futures roared to fresh 7-1/2 year highs, signalling higher feed costs. CME March feeder cattle ended down 2.075 cents at 137.725 cents per pound.

Beef prices continued to march upward. Choice cuts of beef rose $1.96 to $233.95 per cwt and select cuts were up $1.82 at $222.70, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

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Source: Reuters



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