June 17, 2019 / 10:59 PM / 3 months ago

LIVESTOCK-CME lean hogs, live cattle futures firm on bargain buying

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures rose about 2% on Monday on bargain buying after multi-month lows, but a large U.S. hog supply hung over the market, capping the rally, traders said.

CME July lean hog futures ended up 1.700 cents at 83.050 cents per pound after dipping to 80.525 cents, its lowest price since March 11. August hogs rose 1.625 cents to close at 82.250 cents per pound, rebounding off a three-month low set last week.

“After what we saw on Friday in the livestock sector, today just seems like more of a technical bounce than anything,” said Craig VanDyke of Top Third Ag Marketing. “We need a lot more follow-through to be excited about this market.”

Live cattle and feeder cattle futures also closed higher on Monday following declines last week.

CME August live cattle settled up 1.350 cents at 105.625 cents per pound, halting a three-session slide, while August feeder cattle ended up 1.400 cents at 136.925 cents per pound.

“We’ve got record on-feed numbers for cattle, and we had one of our largest pork production weeks two weeks ago. So the supply situation is ample, without any overly exciting demand news,” VanDyke said.

Cash beef values were soft. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quoted the choice boxed beef cutout on Monday at $221.82 per cwt, down $0.41 from Friday, while the select cutout fell $0.25 to $202.51.

And despite Monday’s bounce, feeder cattle futures continued to face pressure from rising prices for corn, the primary feedgrain for livestock. Chicago Board of Trade corn futures set a fresh five-year high on Monday as poor weather continued to cast doubt on U.S. corn acreage and production prospects.

“Corn is going to continue to hamper the excitement. When you see the cost of gains for livestock, it makes it more difficult to be friendly,” VanDyke said.

Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago Editing by Matthew Lewis

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