Stocks, profit-taking hits CME live cattle futures

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Monday finished lower for the first time in three session due to profit-taking and continued heavy stock market losses, said traders.

“People were just watching what happened with stocks over the past few days and decided they wanted out of everything and figure it all out later,” a trader said.

February live cattle closed 0.725 cent per pound lower at 126.125 cents. April settled 0.650 cent lower at 125.475 cents.

Live cattle futures traders await this week’s prices market-ready, or cash, cattle. Last week, packers paid $125 to $126 per cwt for cattle in the U.S. Plains that sold for $127 a week earlier.

Some packers might need supplies due to cold weather in the U.S. Plains that is not allowing cattle to put on weight as fast, said analsyts and traders.

Improved packer profits and prospects for increased beef demand might lend near-term cash price support, they said.

They cautioned that slower cattle weight gains are backing up livestock in feedlots, contributing to U.S. government forecasts for increased supplies in the coming months.

Source: Reuters (via Drovers)