June 19, 2017 / 8:29 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Hogs surge to 1-year high on fund buying, pork price gains

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, June 19 (Reuters) - U.S. hog futures         surged
as much as 4 percent on Monday, lifted by investment fund buying
and higher pork prices that boosted meatpackers' profit margins,
traders and analysts said.
    Hogs on a continuous chart        rose to the highest levels
since last June 23. Most-active Chicago Mercantile Exchange
August lean hog futures        rose sharply for the second
straight session, rebounding from Thursday's one-month low.
    "You're seeing some funds come in," said Rosenthal Collins
hog broker James Burns, adding that he was long the market. 
    "The overall supply at this time period is not as great as
people anticipated. (Animal) weights are down some and demand is
up. It's that easily explainable," Burns said.
    Lower hog weights result in relatively tighter supplies and
suggest that pig farmers were selling rather than holding back
animals to fatten them further.
    CME August hogs settled up 2.350 cents at 81.475 cents per
pound. Front-month July hog futures        notched a contract
high of 84.375 cents before finishing at 83.900, up 1.575 cents.
    Hog prices have climbed in U.S. Midwest cash markets.
Wholesale pork prices were the highest in more than a year on
strong retailer demand for meat ahead of the U.S. Independence
Day holiday on July 4, when many consumers eat hot dogs and
burgers cooked on outdoor grills.                  
    Cattle futures, meanwhile, extended losses on chart-based
selling and investment fund liquidation. Cattle prices typically
decline at this time of year, and lower-priced cattle trades
last week in the U.S. Plains triggered selling in futures.
    CME August live cattle futures        finished down 2.075
cents at 116.100 cents per pound, lowest since April 27.
    CME August feeder cattle        eased 2.875 cents to 145.000
cents per pound, lowest since May 11.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said feeder cattle prices
were down $1 to $4 per cwt at a closely watched cash auction in
Oklahoma City.             

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, editing by G Crosse)
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