October 17, 2017 / 10:08 PM / in a year

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures tumble in a reversal on technical selloff

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures         fell about 2 percent in a technical selloff
on Tuesday, easing from an earlier two-month high in a reversal
that could portend further declines, traders and analysts said.
    Live cattle         and feeder cattle futures         each
dropped to the lowest levels in about two weeks on chart-based
selling amid abundant supplies of both cattle and hogs.
    Hog futures had climbed in the previous two sessions and
reached fresh highs early on Tuesday, before turning lower. CME
December hogs contract        settled down 1.525 cents at 62.175
cents per pound, off their high of 64.500 cents.
    "We got to the level where we made new highs and there was a
vacuum below us," said Zaner Ag Hedge analyst Ted Seifried said.
"Today's high will be a big resistance target going forward.
We'll probably see some follow-through (selling) tomorrow."
    Cash hogs prices in the top Iowa and southern Minnesota
market were up $1.75 at $61.41 per cwt, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.         
    Gains in the cash hog market have buoyed futures but the
potential gains likely will be limited by a nearly record-large
U.S. hog herd.
    CME December live cattle futures        were down 0.850 cent
at 115.975 cents per pound, lowest since Oct. 6. CME November
feeder cattle        were off 2.125 cents to 152.425 cents,
lowest since Oct. 3.
    "Feeders all day were struggling to get up and over some
resistance and failed to do that, and some technical selling
came in toward the end and pushed us down," Seifried added.
    Traders were beginning to square up their positions ahead of
a monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report due on Friday.
    Analysts polled by Reuters expected USDA to show 2.046
million cattle placed on feed for fattening last month, a figure
that would be up 8 percent over September 2016.             
    More placements would suggest feedlots were aggressive
buyers and will have more animals reaching slaughter weight and
available to beef packers early in 2018.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago)
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