May 29, 2018 / 9:44 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Hogs touch five-week high on technical buying, pork gains

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures         climbed to a five-week high on Tuesday,
bolstered by technical buying and gains in prices for cash hogs
and pork, traders said.
    Live cattle         futures were lower, easing on
chart-based selling. Feeder cattle        were higher, supported
in part by lower corn prices as trading resumed following
Monday's U.S. Memorial Day holiday.
    The holiday weekend is the unofficial beginning of the
summer grilling season and traders were looking for clues on
meat demand, including whether retailers were actively buying
pork and beef to restock stores.
    Lean hogs opened sharply higher but came off their early
peaks, still extending the rally to the fourth straight session.
Most-active CME July hogs        were up 1.300 cents to 78.850
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday morning said
wholesale pork prices were up $2.52 at $78.12 per cwt, but the
agency after the close of trading said values were up on 74
cents at $76.34.         
    Hogs in the Iowa and Minnesota cash market were up 79 cents
at $66.09 per cwt.         
    Some of the earlier buying was linked to the morning
reports, said independent livestock trader Dan Norcini, who
added that warm weekend weather in the United States was
conducive to outdoor cooking and meat demand.
    "The weather was pretty good all over the country ... and
the morning cutout price was really good," Norcini said.
    By contrast, wholesale beef prices late on Tuesday were up
only 13 cents at $227.56 per cwt for choice-grade and down 97
cents at $203.65 per cwt for select grade, USDA data showed,
suggesting relatively tepid retailer demand to begin the week.
    CME June live cattle        were 1.525 cents lower at 
103.125 cents per pound and most-active August cattle        was
down 0.850 cent at 101.450 cents per pound.
    CME August feeder cattle        were up 0.050 cent at 
144.975 cents, firming as corn prices       fell about 1.5
percent. Lower prices for corn, the most widely consumed cattle
feed, can lower costs and boost demand for cattle to bring into
feedlots for fattening.
    A USDA report on Friday showed a steep drop of cattle placed
on feed in April, which also supported feeder prices.
    Commodity Futures Trading Commission data on Friday showed
speculative investors reducing net long positions in live cattle
- activity that may have continued on Tuesday.             
    "There may have been some residual longs in the June
(cattle) contract and they are dumping them," Norcini said. 

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago
Editing by Matthew Lewis)
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