January 18, 2018 / 11:02 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle futures extend climb to five sessions

    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
cattle futures rose on Thursday for a fifth straight session,
buoyed by higher wholesale beef prices and technical buying
including short-covering, traders said.
    Retailers are buying beef to feature during the second half
of the month, when consumers may have paid off year-end holiday
debt and have more to spend. Choice-grade wholesale beef prices
rose 39 cents to $205.69 per cwt.           
    Cash cattle prices could draw support this week from
respectable packer profits, along with week-over-week cattle
weight slippage due to colder weather in the Plains that slows
animal weight gains, making cattle less available to packers. 
    However, market bears noted that the specter of increased
cattle supplies ahead may limit how much packers pay in the near
    CME February         live cattle futures finished up 0.975
cent per pound at 121.950 cents after nearing chart resistance
at the contract's 50-day moving average. April         ended up
0.700 cent at 123.475 cents. 
    Buy-stops and higher live cattle futures boosted CME feeder
cattle. Most-active March         feeder cattle closed 1.200
cents per pound higher at 147.175 cents.    
    CME hogs ended firmer, rallying from early declines on
short-covering and buy-stops, traders said. 
    Packers paid less for hogs in order to improve their
margins. Lean hogs in the top cash market of Iowa and southern
Minnesota were down 75 cents per cwt from a day earlier,
according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.         
    But a blast of cold air earlier this week forced some
Midwest farmers to keep swine buildings closed an effort to
retain heat, tightening supplies for packers. And icy conditions
in the eastern United States disrupted the flow of livestock to
packing plants.
    February         hogs settled up 0.325 cent per pound at
73.050 cents. April         ended 0.375 cent higher at 75.900

 (Additional reporting by Theopolis Waters)
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