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LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures surge to contract highs on higher cash prices
October 30, 2017 / 9:56 PM / 21 days ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures surge to contract highs on higher cash prices

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle         and
feeder cattle futures contracts         surged to lifetime peaks
on Monday, boosted by unexpectedly high-priced sales in cash
cattle markets that occurred after the futures close on Friday,
traders said.
    Cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange surpassed
Friday's highs when trade resumed on Monday and some contracts
briefly rose by their daily price limits, before finishing
slightly below those levels.
    "We expected a gap higher and we got it," said Zaner Ag
Hedge broker Tim Hackbarth.
    Most-active CME December live cattle        settled 2.575
cents higher at 123.400 cents per pound, off their earlier
life-of-contract high 123.825 cents. The October contract
      , which has no price limit ahead of its expiration on
Tuesday, climbed 4.200 cents to 119.575 cents.
    The futures gains came after cattle at U.S. Plains feedlots
sold between $116 to $119 per cwt on Friday, deals that were up
$6 to $9 per higher than the previous week.
    Beef packers were buying aggressively to satisfy expanding
seasonal consumer demand ahead of the holidays and to take
advantage of big packer profit margins that were linked to
rising wholesale beef prices.
    Choice-grade beef prices were up 2 cents to $203.32 per cwt,
highest in more than two months, according to U.S. Department of
Agriculture data.           
   Cattle futures were trading at a premium to the cash market
on expectations that beef packer demand will remain robust,
Hackbarth said.
   "There's certainly really good movement of beef," he said.
   CME January feeder cattle futures        settled up 1.400
cents at 157.350 cents per pound after earlier reaching 159.825
cents per pound.
   Cash feeder steer and heifers fetched prices up as much as $9
per cwt at a closely watched auction in Oklahoma City, USDA
said.             
   CME lean hog futures         were higher, tracking gains in
cattle prices amid support from technical buying after hogs fell
on Friday. CME December lean hog futures        settled up 0.725
cent at 65.175 cents per pound.
   Hogs in the top cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
were up $1.23 to $64.91 per cwt and wholesale pork up $1.32 to
$78.88 per cwt, according to the USDA.                    

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Andrew Hay)
  

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