February 6, 2018 / 8:38 PM / 3 months ago

LIVESTOCK-CME hog futures slump on technical selloff

    CHICAGO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hogs        closed lower on Tuesday in the wake of technical
selling that largely overshadowed bullish market fundamentals,
said traders.
    U.S. stock market volatility, after their worst ever daily
point loss on Monday, kept CME livestock market traders on the
defensive.
    Some funds that bailed out of stocks in recent sessions have
CME lean hogs, live cattle and feeder cattle futures in their
portfolios. And a few livestock market investors see the stock
market as a barometer for consumer sentiment regarding the
economy.  
    February lean hog futures         closed 1.075 cents per
pound lower at 74.750 cents. Most-active April         finished
down 1.900 cents at 71.425 cents.
    Fundamentally, packers raised bids for slaughter-ready, or
cash, hogs to maintain the flow of supplies in parts of the
western Corn Belt impacted by wintry weather.         
    Tuesday morning's wholesale pork prices were higher after
some grocers booked loins for the approaching spring grilling
season.          
    
    CATTLE MARKET ON EDGE 
    CME live cattle futures settled lower on this week's cash
price uncertainty and stock market jitters, said traders.
    "I don't know if there's a lot people in the cattle industry
worried about that (stocks). But obviously everybody's got one
eye on the stock market," said A&A Trading broker Jim Clarkson.
   February         live cattle closed down 0.500 cent per pound
at 125.625 cents. April         settled 0.900 cent lower at
124.575 cents.
    Packers in Kansas had bid $124 per cwt for cash cattle that
in the southern Plains were priced at $130, feedlot sources
said. Last week, cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at $125 to
$126.
    Roughly 900 animals for sale at Wednesday's Cattle Exchange
could set the bar for this week's overall cash trade.
    Market bulls believe some packers might need supplies due to
consistently cold temperatures in areas of the Plains slowing
animal weight gains, thereby delaying their delivery to packing
plants.
    Bearish investors contend that lackluster beef demand,
slipping profits and current futures prices might deter
processors from competing for cattle.                   
    Live cattle futures declines and steady to lower cash feeder
cattle prices dragged down CME feeder cattle contracts.
    Firmer corn prices, which raises input costs for feedlots
that fatten cattle, contributed to feeder cattle futures
declines.
    March         feeders ended 0.950 cent per pound lower at
148.725 cents. 

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
  
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