October 6, 2017 / 9:48 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures plunge on spreading, weaker cash markets

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures         tumbled by about 3 percent on Friday,
weighed down by spreading and abundant supplies that pressured
cash markets, traders said.
    Front-month October        and most-active December hogs
       bore the brunt on the selling, while deferred hog
contracts were only narrowly lower.
    CME October hogs dropped by the most in about three weeks,
finishing 1.750 cents lower at 59.175 cents per pound. The
declines came after the contract hit a roughly three-week high
of 61.750 cents on Thursday. 
    December hogs settled 1.875 cents lower at 60.925 cents.
    Futures were trading at a premium to the CME Group's lean
hog cash index       , which they are settled against. The
index's last reading was 55.33 cents per pound, up 0.36 cent.
    "I thought they went a little bit far and a little bit
fast," Rosenthal Collins Group broker James Burns said of gains
in hogs earlier this week. "It doesn't appear the index is
rising fast enough to justify a 61 handle," 
    The population of U.S. hogs is nearly record-large and that
has pressured prices for months. Small gains in cash prices
earlier this week contributed to futures gains before a wave of
selling to close out the week.
    CME October live cattle        climbed 0.875 cent to 111.025
cents per pound, a two-week high, while most-active December
cattle        also were up 0.875 cent, to 116.925 cents.
    CME November feeder cattle        were 0.900 cent higher at
155.750 cents per pound.
    Cattle prices were buoyed by technical and investment fund
buying, traders said.
    U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released
after the close of trading said speculative investors added to
their net long positions in live cattle, feeder cattle and lean
hog futures and options in the latest reporting week.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Jonathan
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