Cattle Futures Shed Recent Gains

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cattle futures fell to a 10-week low on Monday as last week's softer cash prices continued to pressure the market.

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Live cattle futures for June delivery fell 1.4% to $1.20 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since April 6. That erased two recent rallies that pushed prices as high as $1.389 a pound. Feeder cattle futures also fell.

The turnaround started last week after growing supplies of cattle allowed packers to pay feedyards less for their cattle in the cash market. Average cattle weights swelled last week, increasing the amount of available red meat.

"Packers broke the cash steer market severely last week, welding great leverage over the feedlots," said Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services in Chicago.

Average cash prices dropped to $1.26 a pound as of Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, compared with $1.36 a pound a week earlier.

That's carried the downward pressure on cattle futures into this week, despite signs of robust demand. Wholesale beef prices rose over a cent to $2.51 a pound on Monday morning.

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A stronger cash market for hogs, meanwhile, helped push futures to the highest point in almost a year.

CME July lean hog futures rose 1.9% to 83.9 cents a pound, the highest close since June 24. Cash hog prices rose 1.5 cents to 86.71 cents a pound on Monday morning.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 19, 2017 15:30 ET (19:30 GMT)