November 22, 2017 / 9:45 PM / in a year

LIVESTOCK-Fund buying rallies CME lean hog futures

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hogs settled higher on Wednesday, with support from fund buying
and short-covering before the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday,
traders said.
    CME livestock markets will be closed for Thursday's holiday,
but resume on Friday at 8:30 a.m. CST (1430 GMT) and close early
at 12:15 p.m. CST (1815 GMT).
    December         hogs ended 2.125 cents per pound higher at
62.825 cents and above the 200-day moving average of 61.947
cents. February         closed 2.150 cents higher at 69.100
cents, above the 40-day moving average of 68.643 cents.
    Futures made headway without fundamental support, although
there was talk that some packers might need hogs for the first
full week of production after the holiday.
    A few grocers may also step up near-term pork purchases to
avoid possible shortages after packing plants shutdown for the
    On Wednesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA)
monthly cold storage report showed October pork inventory
totaled 597.3 million pounds. That eclipsed analsyts' average
forecast of 595.1 million pounds.             

    CME live cattle futures        gained for a second day in a
row on short-covering and improved cash prices, said traders.
    Short-covering and fund buying contributed to Wednesday's
market advances, they said.
    December         live cattle finished up 1.075 cents per
pound at 119.050 cents, and February         ended 1.425 cents
higher at 125.475 cents.
    Late on Tuesday, packers in Nebraska paid mostly $120 per
cwt for slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle that were steady to up
$1 compared to a week ago there, the USDA said. Tuesday
morning's Texas and Kansas cash trade brought $118, $1 lower
than a week ago in both states.
    "The numbers I'm seeing so far suggest packers haven't
secured enough animals this week. So it's kind of given the
feedlots the upper hand, depending on the region you're looking
at," Top Third Ag Marketing broker Jeff French said.
    Some processors avoided paying more for cattle after filling
inventories and closing plants for the holiday. Others competed
for supplies while taking advantage of their margins that have
come down in recent weeks, but remain historically high.        
    Wednesday's USDA cold storage report showed total beef
stocks last month at 506.9 million pounds, well above analyts'
average forecast of 489.4 million pounds. 
    Buy stops, short-covering and live cattle futures buying
lifted CME live cattle contracts for a second straight session.
    January         feeder cattle closed up 1.100 cents per
pound at 152.725 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Tom Brown)
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