March 17, 2020 / 8:48 PM / 12 days ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle, hog futures rally after grocery stores depleted

CHICAGO, March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. cattle and hog futures surged on Tuesday, fueled by strength in the cash market as the grocery sector looked to re-stock shelves following heavy buying during the weekend.

Bargain buying also helped support the livestock market. Both live cattle and feeder cattle futures were recovering from near 10-year lows hit on Monday.

Consumers depleted stores of meat in a shopping spree after governors in multiple U.S. states ordered restaurants shuttered to in-house diners in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Cash cattle was trading as much as $3 per lb higher than a week earlier and was priced at a $13 to $18 premium over the futures market, INTL FCStone said in a note to clients.

Live cattle contracts notched the biggest gains, with the first three trading months notching limit-up gains. The most-active April hog futures contract also settled up the daily trading limit.

CME May feeder cattle futures contract settled up 1.875 cents at 111.85 cents per lb.

Feeder cattle contracts, which had traded with expanded limits of 6.75 cents on Tuesday, will have limits of 4.5 cents on Wednesday, CME Group said.

CME June live cattle futures were up 4.5 cents at 89.75 cents per lb.

CME April lean hog futures were 4.5 cents higher at 58.475 cents per lb. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by David Gregorio)

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