March 2, 2018 / 10:48 PM / 6 months ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle futures end lower; nearby lean hogs rise

    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, March 2 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle futures         fell on Friday on technical selling
and expectations of a seasonal uptick in beef supplies as the
pace of cattle slaughter increases, analysts said.
    "(There is) a little concern that we might have posted the
smallest supply of the year, and now we are facing higher
numbers ahead," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for Allendale
    Lackluster cash cattle markets added to bearish sentiment.
Cash cattle traded mostly at $126 to $127 per cwt this week at
feedlots in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska, down $1 to $2 from deals
a week earlier.
    "We are struggling on the cash side, on feeders and fats, so
the market just struggled to carry a bid throughout the day,"
said analyst Craig VanDyke of Top Third Ag Marketing.
    Others noted malaise on Wall Street, where major indexes
posted losses for the week as U.S. President Donald Trump's
threat to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum rattled
investors.              Declines in equity markets can influence
consumer demand for high-end cuts of beef.
    Most-active CME April live cattle        settled down 1.150 
cents at 122.175 cents per pound after dipping to 121.900, the
contract's lowest since Jan. 17. 
    CME April feeder cattle        settled down 1.475 cents at
145.275 cents per pound and front-month March feeders       
fell 1.375 cents to 143.675.
    CME nearby hog futures closed higher, gaining against back
months, with April lean hogs        up 0.600 cent at 67.575
cents per pound.
    April hogs        narrowed their discount to the June       
one day after hitting the widest discount in the life of the
spread 1LHJ8-M8, a move some saw as a supportive technical
signal for futures.
    "That is telling to me that we are trying to find a
short-term low," VanDyke said.
    The pork cutout that tracks values of cuts such as hams and
bellies was up $0.73 from the previous afternoon to $78.11 per

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen
Editing by Tom Brown)
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