February 3, 2018 / 12:42 AM / 15 days ago

LIVESTOCK-Funds, weather extend CME live cattle gains

    CHICAGO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures        on Friday finished higher for the second
day in a row, with help from fund buying and another wintry
blast in parts of the U.S. Plains, said traders.
    Bitter cold tends to slow cattle weight gains, while
hazardous conditions disrupt movement of livestock to market.
    February         live cattle closed 0.425 cent per pound
higher at 126.850 cents. April         settled up 0.200 cent at
126.125 cents.
    CME live cattle will resume its normal 3.000-cent per pound
daily price limit on Monday after not settling up or down
Friday's 4.500-cent expanded limit.
    Some funds that exited Friday's stock market collapse may
have landed in live cattle futures because of their upward
momentum, said traders and analysts.
    "It does look like there's some new money flowing into the
cattle market. It looks like maybe some are coming out of the
stock market," said Midwest Marketing Solutions analyst Brian
Hoops.
    Fundamentally, cattle futures traders await next week's cash
cattle trade that will be influenced by weather, wholesale beef
demand and forecasts for increased supplies ahead.
    Friday afternoon's choice wholesale beef price dropped 50
cents per cwt from Thursday to $209.10. Select cuts fell $1.09
to $203.45, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
    This week packers paid $125 to $126 per cwt for
slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle that a week ago brought mostly
$127.
    Monday evening is the first notice day for live cattle
deliveries against the February contract that will expire on
Feb. 28.
    Buy stops and live cattle futures gains lifted CME feeder
cattle        to a two-month top. The market's 6.750-cent
expanded limit on Friday will return to its usual 4.500-cent
limit on Monday.
    March         feeders ended up 1.375 cents per pound at
150.925 cents. 

    HOGS HIT ANOTHER HIGH    
    CME lean hogs        reached their highest level since late
July 2016, after upward-trending cash prices lifted the market
to a one-year high on Thursday.
    Packers competed for market-ready hogs as snow and colder
weather enters areas of the upper Western Corn Belt, a trader
said. 
    Processors may have to pay for more hogs to coax farmers
into opening doors to swine barns that they would like to keep
closed to retain heat, a trader said.
    February lean hog futures        closed 0.375 cent per pound
higher at 75.200 cents, and reached a new contract high of
75.400 cents. Most-active April        finished up 0.725 cent at
73.550 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
  
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