By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, June 15 U.S. lean hog futures
were mostly about 2 percent lower on Thursday, easing on
technical selling and investment fund liquidation, traders and
Hog futures fell sharply to their session lows at 10:10 a.m.
CDT (1610 GMT) in what two traders called a "flash crash,"
before prices recouped a portion of their losses.
"We saw the market dip $2 (per cwt) in a matter of seconds,"
said Top Third Ag Marketing broker Craig VanDyke, adding that
the move likely was tied to automated selling.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange July hogs fell 0.525
cents to 82.050 cents per pound, settling above the contract's
session low of 80.725 cents. August hogs dropped 1.475
cents to 78.925 cents.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data showing a downturn in
U.S. weekly pork export sales were seen as bearish but prices
for cash hogs and wholesale pork have been trending higher,
USDA after the close of trading said hogs in the top cash
markets of Iowa and southern Minnesota were up $1.03 to $81.58
CME live cattle and feeder cattle futures
each fell to the lowest levels in weeks before rebounding.
Cattle breached support of several moving averages amid lower
prices for cash cattle and declines in beef.
"It's hard to be long when you are waking up to negative
news every day," said Kevin Bost, president of Procurement
Strategies Inc. "I think you have about five or six weeks of
falling beef prices and falling cattle prices."
Small numbers of cash cattle fetched $130 to $134 per cwt in
the U.S. Plains this week, down as much as $7 from a week ago,
feedlot sources said.
Cattle and beef often ease in the hottest months of the
summer, when consumers cook fewer pricey beef cuts such as
roasts, choosing cheaper options such as burgers.
However, the losses in futures may have been too great,
prompting bargain buying.
Most-active CME August live cattle eased 0.375 cent
to 117.500 cents per pound while front-month June cattle
eased 2.000 cents to 122.500 cents.
CME August feeder cattle climbed 0.950 cent to
147.075 cents per pound, recovering after earlier sliding to the
lowest levels since May 11.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by David