February 20, 2018 / 11:22 PM / 8 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures rally from four-month lows on fund buying

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hogs         climbed
1.7 percent on Tuesday, rallying on technical and investment
fund buying after falling to more than four-month lows last
week, traders and analysts said.
    Rising wholesale pork prices also bolstered hog futures amid
expectations the meat was becoming more competitive with more
pricier beef cuts.
    Live cattle futures         were narrowly higher at the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange but finished below earlier
multi-month highs.
    CME April lean hog futures        settled up 1.050 cents
higher at 69.200 cents per pound, recouping a portion of steep
losses notched late last week.
    The wholesale pork cutout was up $1.36 to $79.72 per cwt
while cash hogs in the top market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
eased 18 cents to $65.13 per cwt, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.                  
    "Cash hogs continue to struggle a little bit but the (pork)
product market is starting to pick up some gains, and that's
going to be more influential," said Top Third Ag Marketing
analyst Craig VanDyke. 
    U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released
after the close of trading on Friday showed speculative
investors liquidating long bets in hog futures.             
    Some investment funds might have been making new longs after
the bigger-than-expected selloff, VanDyke added.
    CME April live cattle        settled up 0.075 cent at
127.725 cents per pound and March feeder cattle        up 0.075
cent to 149.800 cents per pound.
    Investors were beginning to square up their cattle positions
ahead of the USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed report due on Friday.
A Reuters poll of analysts expected the government to show a
slight increase in the number of cattle placed on feed for
fattening in January.             

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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