February 21, 2018 / 9:18 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle stumble on profit-taking, lower cash trades

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures         notched their largest daily losses in
nearly a month on Wednesday, pressured by profit-taking and
weaker trades in U.S. Plains cash cattle markets, traders said.
    Feeder cattle futures         fell nearly 2 percent and lean
hogs         ebbed from their session highs, with each easing in
sympathy with declines in more actively traded live cattle.
    CME April live cattle futures        settled down 1.500
cents to 126.225 cents per pound. The roughly 1.2 percent drop
was the biggest since Jan. 25, and the contract continued to
fall from Tuesday's multimonth peak of 130.525 cents.
    CME March feeder cattle        finished 3.150 cents lower at
146.650 cents per pound, the lowest since Feb. 12.    
    The lack of follow-through to new highs triggered selling in
cattle, said FuturesOne broker Matthew Wiegand.
    "In the absence of being able to extend higher, and with the
Cattle on Feed report coming up, it's probably a good spot for
recent longs to get out," Wiegand said.
    Traders were evening positions ahead of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's monthly Cattle on Feed report due on Friday, in
which analysts expected a slight increase in the number of
cattle placed on feed for fattening in January.             
    Analysts expected the USDA in a monthly Cold Storage report
on Thursday to show beef stocks in January at 495.4 million
pounds and 549.1 million pounds for pork.
    Cash cattle fetched $128 per cwt at feedlots in Texas,
Kansas and Nebraska, in deals that were $2 lower than the
previous week, traders said.         
    Choice-grade wholesale boxed beef was up $1.45 to $217.37
per cwt and wholesale pork down 99 cents to $78.73 per cwt,
according to the USDA. Cash hogs in Iowa and Minnesota were 55
cents lower at $63.84 per cwt, the government agency said.
    CME April lean hog futures        settled up 0.700 cent at
69.900 cents per pound after earlier reaching a high of 70.550
    Wiegand said some pork packers were reducing plans for their
hog slaughter on Saturday, which could keep a lid on demand and
prices for hogs in cash markets. "There's a lack of midweek
enthusiasm," he said.

 (Additional reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Jonathan
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