Livestock and meat prices were mixed Friday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange with continued concern about a glut of red meat pressuring prices.
Cattle prices were mostly higher with support from improved retail demand for beef cuts, particularly steaks and loins, said Tom Morgan, a livestock analyst in Chicago with Heinold Commodities.
Morgan noted that the barbecue season is beginning, the Mothers Day holiday, typically a strong period for restaurants, is approaching, and retail prices have been falling recently as grocers compete for customers.
Traders were cautious however, Morgan said, because "we still have some pretty good supplies out there."
Live hogs were mixed with contracts for delivery in the next few months under pressure from concerns about excess supplies. Morgan said the slaughter this week was the largest of the month, which was a factor putting pressure on the contract for delivery in June.
But the big slaughter also eased concern about excess supplies available later in the summer, he said, and contracts for delivery later in the year were higher.