By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, March 28 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hogs on Tuesday slumped to their lowest level in two
months, as cash and wholesale pork values dropped on abundant
supplies, said traders.
They said sell stops and fund liquidation accelerated market
April hogs ended 0.550 cent per pound lower at
65.100 cents, and below the 200-day moving average of 65.543
cents. May finished 0.925 cents lower at 69.400 cents.
Futures' retreat may suggest slowing U.S. pork exports and
possibly too many hogs for this period, said Rosenthal Collins
broker James Burns.
Tuesday morning's average price for slaughter-ready, or
cash, hogs in Iowa/Minnesota was $65.02 per cwt in light volume,
down $1.79 from Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
USDA data released early Tuesday showed the average
wholesale pork price fell $1.18 per cwt from Monday to $77.94,
primarily due to $6.42 lower pork belly prices.
Investors await Thursday's U.S. government quarterly hog
report that analysts expect to show continued herd expansion.
MOST CATTLE FUTURES GAIN
CME live cattle contracts settled mostly firmer after
investors sold April futures and simultaneously bought deferred
months in a trading strategy known as bear spreading.
This week's cash price uncertainty deterred April futures
April live cattle closed down 0.300 cent per pound
at 120.775 cents. June ended up 0.150 cent at 111.600
cents and August 0.350 cent rose to 107.125 cents.
Market bulls said cash prices were supported by Tuesday's
firmer wholesale beef prices, tight supplies in parts of the
U.S. Plains and fewer cattle for sale than last week.
Contrarians point to current futures prices, slipping packer
profits and substantial numbers of cattle available that are
contracted against the futures market.
Traders will take their cue from Wednesday morning's Fed
Cattle Exchange sale of about 3,900 animals. Last week cattle
there on average sold for $133.35 per cwt.
A week ago most slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S.
Plains traded from $130 to $134.50 per cwt.
Tuesday morning's average wholesale beef price was up 29
cents per cwt from Monday at $220.20. Select rose 80 cents to
$214.42, the USDA said.
CME feeder cattle mirrored mostly firmer live cattle
March feeder cattle , which will expire on Thursday,
ended up 0.200 cent per pound to 132.350 cents. Most actively
traded April was down 0.150 cent at 132.950 cents. May
ended 0.275 cent higher at 131.600 cents.
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Richard Chang)