By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, Oct 13 U.S. cattle futures tumbled 2
percent on Thursday, extending losses to six-year lows on
pressure from technical selling and weak prices in cash cattle
markets, traders said.
Lean hog futures added to recent gains at the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange, boosted by technical buying and as
investors exited short positions following hog's seven-year lows
reached last week.
Supplies of U.S. beef and pork were plentiful, and many
traders had bearish outlooks for cattle and hog futures, absent
an significant spike in export sales to Asia. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture will release weekly U.S. beef and pork
export sales early on Friday.
Front-month CME October live cattle futures fell to
94.300 cents per lb, the lowest price on a continuous chart
since Aug. 16, 2010. Most-active December live cattle futures
settled down 1.825 cents at 96.175 cents per lb, in the
fourth straight session of declines.
"Technical selling was the big feature today, and just a
lack of any interest in buying," said Zaner Group analyst Ted
Feeder cattle futures declined to the lowest levels
since December 2010, with the most-active November contract
finishing 2.950 cents lower at 114.825 cents per lb.
Steep gains in corn futures also weighed on feeder cattle
as higher animal feed prices raise costs for fattening cattle,
potentially reducing demand.
CME December lean hog futures were up 0.125 cent to
44.175 cents, rising to a roughly one-week high and gaining for
the second straight day.
USDA data released after the close of trading showed
slightly higher wholesale beef prices and lower pork prices.
Slaughter-weight cattle traded lightly at $98 per cwt in
Texas, down from $101 to $102 a week ago, feedlot sources said.
Meat and animal prices have trended lower for weeks as
consumer demand for outdoor grilling slowed seasonally while
retailer purchasing also likely slowed in southern U.S. states
such as North Carolina and Florida because of Hurricane Matthew.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; editing by Grant