March 7, 2017 / 10:18 PM / 9 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Lean hogs up on bargain buying, technicals; cattle dip

    By Karl Plume
    CHICAGO, March 7 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hog futures        advanced on Tuesday on technical buying
and bargain buying following an early-week uptick in wholesale
pork prices and packer margins, traders said.
    Mild U.S. weather stirred hopes of an accelerated pace of
pork buying for outdoor grilling, although longer term concerns
about a looming supply buildup of hogs this spring and summer
offset some of that support.
    Domestic and export demand for pork could also be lifted by
consumer worries about a recent outbreak of bird flu on a
Tennessee poultry farm, according to analysts. Several countries
have already curbed U.S. poultry imports in response.
    April hogs         ended 0.875 cent per pound higher at 
68.050 cents, closing above its 10-day moving average of 67.675
cents. May         futures added 0.550 to 73.600 cents and June
        gained 0.675 to 77.425 cents.
    "The pork cutout has been moving higher lately. Seasonal
demand with some of the warmer weather we've had might also give
us a little bit of a demand bump," said Dax Wedemeyer, a broker
and analyst with U.S. Commodities.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a $1.90 per cwt
surge in the average wholesale port price on Monday and another
solid gain Tuesday morning. But after futures had closed, the
agency reported an 82-cent drop in the cutout price for the day
to $81.71 per cwt, led by a $7.72 plunge in the pork belly
    The average pork packer margin remained comfortably in the
black ink at $23.75 per head, up from $18.65 a week ago, as
calculated by
    Live cattle futures declined on technical selling and
concerns that cash markets may struggle to capture steady prices
this week, offsetting underlying support from firm beef prices
and strong packer margins.
    April live cattle         closed down 0.200 cent per pound
to 115.350 cents, failing to breach chart resistance at the
contract's 50-day moving average of $115.889. June         ended
down 0.650 cent at 105.625 cents.
    The wholesale choice boxed beef cutout value jumped $2.40
per cwt on Tuesday afternoon to $212.00 while select cuts gained
$1.09 to $205.05 per cwt, according to the USDA.
    Tuesday's average beef packer margins were a positive $33.10
per head, up from a negative $19.00 a week ago, as calculated by
    CME feeder cattle eased on technical selling and spillover
pressure from declining live cattle futures.
    March feeders         closed 0.125 cent per pound lower at
123.950 cents.

 (Reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by David Gregorio)

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