September 28, 2017 / 6:59 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-CME hog futures settle mostly lower before USDA report

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Most Chicago Mercantile
Exchange lean hog contracts closed lower on Thursday, pressured
by profit-taking ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
quarterly hog report at 2 p.m. CDT (1900 GMT).             
    "The industry will no doubt show herd expansion and record
large production, it's just a question of how much," said Archer
Financial Services broker Dennis Smith. 
    Thursday morning's modest uptick in prices for
slaughter-ready or cash hogs, along with wholesale pork values, 
underpinned October hog futures, traders said.                  
    Until Wednesday, hog prices have come down for more than two
months, pressured by ample supplies of heavier animals, said
analsyts and traders.           
    They said solid U.S. export data further supported the
October contract.
    On Thursday, the USDA's export sales report for the week
ended Sept. 21 showed U.S. pork sales at 36,700 tonnes, the
highest this year, mostly to Mexico.
    Exports is a necessary ingredient if the United States is
going to keep hog prices from collapsing in the face of
record-large production, said Smith.
    October         hogs ended up 0.150 cent per pound to 55.550
cents. December         finished 1.375 cents lower at 58.275
cents and February         closed 1.050 cents lower at 63.350 

    CME live cattle gained slightly as bullishly cautious 
investors priced in the chance that packers might pay the same
for cattle as last week, said traders.
    October led other contracts after market participants
periodically bought that month and simultaneously sold deferred
    October         live cattle finished 0.400 cent per pound
higher at 108.975 cents, and December         closed up 0.150
cent to 115.050 cents.
    On Thursday, Kansas processors raised cash bids to $106 per
cwt from $104 as sellers there and elsewhere in the U.S. Plains
held out for at least $110. Cash cattle last week fetched $108
to $109.
    Packers are operating plants with excellent margins, but
they seem less eager to buy cattle after purchasing a large
number of them last week, a trader said.
    He added that the late-summer seasonal decline in beef
demand has stabilized, but could struggle to gain upward
traction as hams and turkeys for the year-end holidays dominate
meat industry discussions.           
    Slight live cattle futures gains lifted CME feeder cattle
   September        , which expired at noon CDT (1700 GMT),
settled up 0.375 cent per pound to 152.775 cents. Most actively
traded October         ended up 0.250 cent to 152.950 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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