Cattle Supply Continues Pressuring Futures

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cattle futures fell for a second consecutive day as concerns over large supply continued to weigh down prices.

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Contracts for cattle swung back and forth Tuesday, initially rising before giving back gains. Analysts said the path of least resistance was lower, though on a technical level, prices were stuck in a trading band.

"Right now there's a lot of supply to chew up in the very near term," said Sean Lusk, director of commercial hedging at Walsh Trading in Chicago. "Until we're able to close below some key support levels to the downside, we're range bound."

Falling beef prices, coming alongside growing supplies of market-ready cattle, have pressured the futures market in recent weeks. A pound of wholesale beef fell to $2.0272 a pound Monday, before inching higher as of midday Tuesday. Prices for the red meat have fallen around 20% in the past two months.

Live cattle futures for August fell 0.2% to $1.12475 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, extending losses after closing near their lower daily limit Monday. Feeder cattle futures were also lower Tuesday.

Hog futures, meanwhile, were mixed. The CME's front-month August lean hog contract, which expires next week, rose 0.2% to 83.525 cents a pound. August futures continue to rise and close the gap between the CME lean hog index, which tracks the cash market. The index was at 86.1 cents a pound Tuesday.

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Analysts last week said hog futures had fallen too fast, leaving room to regain ground before the August contract expired.

Most-active October lean hog futures were 0.6% lower at 67.75 cents a pound.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 08, 2017 15:06 ET (19:06 GMT)