October 16, 2017 / 8:51 PM / 5 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures at two-month high on pork packer demand; cattle eases

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures        
rose to a two-month high on Monday as cash prices extended their
climb on strong demand from the expanded pork processing sector,
traders and analysts said.
    Two new hog slaughterhouses that opened about a month ago in
Iowa and Michigan have boosted hog demand while wholesale pork
prices have recovered from recent multimonth lows, suggesting
consumer interest in pork was keeping pace with increased
    "We beat hogs down pretty good and they've leveled out,"
said Matthew Wiegand, broker at FuturesOne. "There's a couple of
new (pork) plants that, even if they aren't running at full
capacity, are keeping the finishing floor a little more current
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange December lean hogs       
settled up 1.500 cents to 63.700 cents per pound, highest since
Aug. 16.
    Hogs in the top cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
were $1.02 higher at $59.35 per cwt, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. The CME Group's index of the cash hog
market        reached 59.51, highest since Sept. 20.         
    CME live cattle         and feeder cattle futures        
were each narrowly lower in mostly technically-driven trade as
dealers awaited sales in U.S. cash cattle markets as well as a
monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report due on Friday.
    Most-active CME December live cattle        eased 0.300 cent
to 116.825 cents per pound, finding support near its 10-day
moving average and hovering above Friday's low of 116.500.
    The contract lost ground most of last week as prices eased
from a multimonth high reached on Oct. 11.
    USDA on Friday will state how many cattle were placed in
feedlots for fattening last month in a report that gives cues to
traders on how many animals will likely reach slaughter weight
and be available to beef packers early in 2018.
    "It's a wait-and-see here," Wiegand said of trading cattle
futures ahead of the Friday report. "If the report is not wildly
friendly, we'll probably have a short-term pullback."
    CME November feeder cattle futures        fell 0.450 cent to
154.550 cents per pound but finished well above Friday's 10-day
low of 153.125 cents.
    Feeder steers traded at prices steady to up $2 per cwt at
the closely tracked weekly cash auction in Oklahoma City, the
USDA said.             

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, editing by G Crosse)
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