US cattle markets decline as China allows some Russian beef imports – CME

Lean hog futures turn higher

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cattle futures turned lower for a second trading session on Thursday, even as the tight US cattle supply and strength in the beef cutout values offered support, Reuters reported, citing analysts.

But concern about export demand – particularly Chinese demand – weighed over futures later in the day, traders said.

On Thursday, China’s customs office said it will allow the import of some beef and beef by-products from Russia, effective immediately. Separately, the Australian government said on Thursday that China had lifted bans on imports from five major Australian beef processing facilities.

The news came a day after Reuters reported that China had suspended beef exports from a JBS-owned packing plant in Greeley, Colorado, because traces of the feed additive ractopamine were identified in beef destined for China.

“There is little doubt this will impact US beef exports moving forward,” said Karl Setzer, partner at Consus Ag. 

Meanwhile, cattle futures also faced late-session pressure from news that a third US dairy worker tested positive for bird flu after exposure to infected cows, and was the first to suffer respiratory problems, US officials said on Thursday.

The infection was the second human case in Michigan, which has confirmed more cases of bird flu in cattle than any other state. It also expands the symptoms for human cases, after the two workers who previously tested positive experienced only conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and recovered.

CME August live cattle closed 0.425 cent lower at 179.775 cents per pound, while June live cattle settled down 0.800 cent at 182.550 cents per pound. 

CME August feeder cattle settled down 1.175 cents at 259.075 cents per pound.

Lean hog futures turned higher on technical trading and as pork belly prices turned higher, analysts said. Most-active CME July hog futures ended up 0.695 cent at 96.950 cents per pound.