June 8, 2020 / 11:44 PM / a month ago

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle futures stabilize, beef prices fall further

CHICAGO, June 8 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures stabilized on Monday after falling last week as beef prices weakened, traders said.

The market is expected to remain under pressure as beef production continues to recover from disruptions in April and May linked to coronavirus outbreaks among workers at meatpacking plants.

Meat processors slaughtered an estimated 117,000 cattle on Monday, up from 110,000 a week earlier and down from 119,000 a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wholesale beef prices have dropped from historic highs as production has improved. The choice boxed beef cutout, an indicator of wholesale prices, fell to $256.33 per cwt on Monday, down $5.15 from Friday, when cutout dropped $10, according to the USDA.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) June live cattle futures settled up 0.225 cent at 94.125 cents per pound. The benchmark August contract rose 0.150 cents to 96.325 cents, after hitting a one-month low on Friday.

CME August feeder cattle futures closed down 1.100 cents at 133.075 cents per pound.

In the pork market, CME lean hog futures closed mostly higher as technical buying continued to support prices, traders said. June lean hogs ended up 1.125 cents at 48.575 cents per pound, while most-active July futures settled up 0.050 cent at 53.975 cents. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Tom Brown)

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