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LIVESTOCK-CME hog futures hit six-month lows; cattle futures rebound

09/14/2021 | 05:17pm EDT

CHICAGO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures dropped to their lowest prices in more than six months on Tuesday, while cattle futures recovered a day after hitting June lows on concerns about a fire at a major JBS USA beef plant.

The hog market extended recent losses under pressure from concerns about the potential for easing U.S. export demand and rising supplies, analysts said.

Pig prices in China, the world's biggest pork consumer, are substantially lower than in the United States, raising worries that Chinese buyers will reduce purchases, said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based broker U.S. Commodities.

China's hog prices have tumbled this year on increased supplies and over fears from fresh outbreaks of the pig disease African swine fever.

"On the export front, I think there's some real concern," Roose said.

CME October lean hog futures ended down 0.400 cent at 80.375 cents per pound and hit their lowest price since March 4. December hogs fell 1.200 cents to 72.175 cents per pound and hit its lowest price since Feb. 26.

In the cattle market, the rebound in futures prices came as meatpacker JBS said it resumed operations at a beef plant in Grand Island, Nebraska, after a fire halted production on Monday.

The JBS plant has the capacity to slaughter 6,000 cattle a day, about 5% of U.S. cattle, according to industry estimates.

Meatpackers on Tuesday slaughtered 120,000 cattle nationwide, up from 114,000 on Monday, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

CME December live cattle closed up 2.500 cents at 129.650 cents per pound after falling on Monday to their lowest price since June 1. October feeder cattle climbed 2.700 cents to 158.150 cents per pound after touching its lowest since June 11 on Monday.

"We just overdid it to the downside," Roose said. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

ę Reuters 2021
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