CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. cattle futures were lower Thursday under pressure from outside markets and worries about a weakening economy.
CME live cattle for August delivery were down 0.175 cent to $1.1295 per pound. August feeder cattle were down 0.925 cent to $1.33425.
Futures joined a broader selloff in commodities, thanks in part to a stronger dollar that gained after Japan took steps to strengthen its currency. Meanwhile, equities fell sharply, reinforcing worries about the economy.
"U.S. economic news has been poor for the most part this week which has tempered attitudes toward near-term beef demand," ADM Investors Services said in a morning report.
There are other factors pressuring cattle futures, analysts said, including front-month live cattle's premium to the cash market, which is wider than normal.
A stronger Japanese yen could have an impact on U.S. exports, Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage said in a Thursday newsletter, as the dollar's weakness versus the yen and the Aussie dollar has encouraged U.S. sales.
"U.S. beef exports remain strong in the near term, however," he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported weekly net export beef sales of 17,200 metric tons Thursday, with sales primarily to Mexico, South Korea, Japan and Canada.
Only a few cash cattle bids were reported Wednesday at $1.08 a pound on a live basis in Texas. In Nebraska, bids at $1.09 live and $1.74 dressed have been reported early Thursday. Cattle owners passed the bids and are asking higher prices, analysts said. Cattle are priced from $1.12 to $1.13 a pound in Texas and Kansas.
Gains in wholesale pork prices to new all-time highs for a seventh consecutive day, strong beef exports and premiums in autumn and winter cattle futures contracts to current prices are seen supportive for the cash cattle market, analysts said.
The USDA reported choice boxed-beef prices Wednesday down 26 cents to $173.51 a hundred pounds and select up 24 cents at $169.51 a hundred pounds.
The latest HedgersEdge packer margin index was plus $42.25 a head, compared with $46.50 the previous day.
Thursday's cattle slaughter is projected to be about 128,000 head.