CHICAGO — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures fell on Wednesday on profit-taking after a two-session climb and pressure from softening cash hog prices, traders said.
CME benchmark October lean hogs settled down 2.075 cents at 91.525 cents per pound and December hogs ended down 1.625 cents at 83.875 cents per pound.
The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell to $109.36 per hundredweight (cwt), down $1.90 from a day earlier and its lowest since mid-June.
“The cash market is belly-flopping, getting close to futures. The discount (for futures) was historically wide, and it’s narrowing,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.
Hog futures have a seasonal tendency to decline in the fall, Roose added, as cooler weather helps hogs to gain weight, bolstering supplies of pork.
Wholesale pork prices firmed a bit after plunging last week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the pork carcass value at $103.19 per cwt on Wednesday afternoon, up $1.03 from Tuesday.
In the cattle markets, CME live cattle futures also declined but feeder cattle closed mixed, with nearby contracts firming slightly.
Benchmark CME October live cattle futures settled down 1.250 cents at 142.575 cents per lb, while October feeder cattle ended up 0.200 cent to finish at 183.475 cents.
In the U.S. wholesale beef market, choice cuts fell $1.45 to $258.34 per cwt, according to the USDA. Select cuts fell $1.94 to $237.74 per cwt.
After the markets closed, the USDA said it would delay its next weekly export sales report until Sept. 15 at the earliest, leaving traders in the dark about overseas demand for grains and meat. The USDA is struggling to launch a new reporting system for the data. The export sales report is normally issued each Thursday. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)