November 15, 2018 / 10:16 PM / in 7 months

LIVESTOCK-Lean hogs rise on technical buying, good demand outlook

    By Karl Plume
    CHICAGO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures         firmed for a fourth straight session on
Thursday, lifted by technical buying and good demand for pork,
traders said.
    Persistent concerns about the spread of African Swine Fever
in China, the world's top hog and pork producer, also
underpinned prices as forecasts for big global hog supplies were
seen tightening due to the outbreak.
    "There's a little more demand optimism that is helping carry
things a bit in the hogs, as well as long-term supply concerns,"
said Matthew Wiegand, a broker with FuturesOne.
    "The swine fever stuff is just going to linger out there
until we know more about that," he said.
    CME December hogs         rose 0.075 cent to settle at
57.075 cents per pound. The more active February hog contract
        was up 1.400 cents at 63.750 cents, breaking through
chart resistance at its 20-, 30- and 200-day moving averages.
    The market remained cautious ahead of a meeting between U.S.
President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping in Argentina later
this month, when the leaders will discuss the trade dispute that
has weighed on commodity markets for months.
    Beijing slapped tariffs on U.S. pork in retaliation for U.S.
tariffs on Chinese goods, effectively halting exports to China.
    Live cattle futures         ended mostly higher on news that
top beef importer Japan was considering scrapping import
restrictions on U.S. shipments that were put in place when the
first U.S. case of mad cow disease was discovered in 2003.
    Officials in Japan were reported to be discussing lifting
restrictions on U.S. beef from cattle older that 30 months,
according to local media.             
    Futures traders are also awaiting more active cash cattle
trade at U.S. Plains markets, where packers are not expected to
buy as many cattle as normal this week because of slaughterhouse
downtime next week during the Thanksgiving holiday.
    Packer bids were around $113 to $114 per cwt on cattle
offered at $116 or more. The bulk of sales last week were at
    CME December live cattle         ended 0.550 cent higher at
115.150 cents per pound, while February futures        , the
most active month, rose 0.500 cent to 119.100 cents.
    Feeder cattle futures         ended mostly higher on
spill-over support from live cattle.
    Actively traded January feeder cattle         ended 0.875
cent higher at 147.850 cents per pound, while March        
gained 0.750 cent to 144.550 cents.

 (Reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by David Gregorio)
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