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LIVESTOCK-U.S. cattle slump to 2-month low on technical selling
July 5, 2017 / 8:56 PM / in 5 months

LIVESTOCK-U.S. cattle slump to 2-month low on technical selling

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, July 5 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures        
extended losses to a more than two-month low on Wednesday as
investors liquidated long positions amid declining wholesale
beef prices and expectations for weaker cash cattle markets,
traders and analysts said.
    Higher corn futures       also boosted feed costs for
fattening cattle, weighing on feeder cattle futures        ,
while lean hogs         rose to a fresh 2-1/2-year high.
    "There's a lack of any bullish or supportive news, so we
continue to drift (lower)," Steiner Consulting Group analyst
Altin Kalo said of cattle.
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange August live cattle        fell
2.200 cents to 113.550 cents per pound, after earlier falling to
113.075 cents, the lowest since April 26. CME August feeder
cattle        finished 3.875 cents lower at 142.225 cents per
pound, a roughly two-week low.
    About 400 head of cattle were sold of 2,000 offered at an
average price of $117.70 per cwt at the online Fed Cattle
Exchange auction, down from average sales a week ago of $119.51,
according to the auction website.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said after the close of
futures trading that wholesale choice-grade beef eased 31 cents
to $222.58 per cwt while select beef cuts fell $2.12 to $205.32.
    Beef prices have been on a downtrend since hitting two-year
highs in mid-May. Retailer beef demand, which surges ahead of
the outdoor grilling season, generally declines when consumers
cook fewer roasts and steaks during the peak summer heat.
    CME July hog futures        hit a life-of-contract high of
92.575 cents before finishing at 92.050 cents, up 1.350. Several
deferred contracts also reached lifetime highs and most-active
August hog futures        settled up 0.175 cent at 84.575 cents.
    Gains in cash hog prices and higher prices for wholesale
pork have enticed investors to make long bets in hog futures,
which reached the highest levels since October 2014 on a
continuous hog futures chart       .
    "Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon," Kalo said.
    The USDA after the close said cash hogs in the top market of
Iowa and southern Minnesota were up 10 cents at $87.96 per cwt
and the pork cutout was up 9 cents at $104.41.                  

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Jonathan

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