June 5, 2017 / 9:12 PM / in 5 months

LIVESTOCK-Cattle extend gains as beef prices rise; hogs ease

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. cattle futures climbed
about 1 percent on Monday, with several deferred live cattle
contracts         notching lifetime highs and front-month
feeders        hitting a 15-month peak on investment fund buying
tied to gains in beef prices.
    Some cattle futures contracts reversed from earlier small
losses at midday, boosted by U.S. Department of Agriculture data
showing higher prices for choice-grade wholesale beef. Beef
prices typically decline in June following stepped-up buying
from retailers for outdoor grilling during the U.S. Memorial Day
holiday weekend at the end of last month.           
    But high prices for live cattle in recent months enticed
feedlots to sell cattle at lower weights, resulting in
relatively tighter supplies now.
    "I've seen an awful lot of beef movement. Packers need
choice (beef)," said Zaner Group broker Tim Hackbarth.
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange June live cattle        settled
1.275 cents higher at 132.100 cents per pound while most-active
August        gained 0.150 cent to 126.200 cents. The October
      , December        and February contracts        hit
life-of-contract highs.
    CME August feeder cattle        finished 1.150 cents higher
at 159.875 cents per pound, highest on a continuous chart since
March 24, 2016. 
    USDA said feeder steers sold as much as $14 per cwt higher
at a closely watched cattle auction in Oklahoma City. "Demand
good to very good, with feedlots wanting to keep their pens full
before auction offerings diminish," USDA said.             
    Some traders were buying back short positions as the CME
Group's feeder cattle index        continued to gain. "The trend
is up, and the trend is your friend." said A&A Trading Inc
broker Jim Clarkson.
    
    HOGS LOWER
    CME lean hog futures         were lower, with deferred
contracts falling sharply on technical selling and expectations
for more abundant hog supplies later this year. Investors also
were taking profits on long bets after prices last week reached
multimonth highs.
    June lean hog futures        were down 0.500 cent to 80.725
cents per pound and most-active July hogs        were down 1.550
to 80.425 cents, a drop of 1.9 percent. December hogs       
tumbled 2.5 percent.
    USDA after the close of futures trading said negotiated hogs
sold $1.34 higher to $74.26 per cwt in the Iowa and southern
Minnesota cash market while wholesale pork prices were slightly
lower.                   

 (Additional reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by James
Dalgleish)
  

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