May 14, 2018 / 9:46 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle tumble price limit in technical selloff

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, May 14 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures         tumbled 2 percent or more on Monday, with
the front-month June contract falling by its 3.000 cents per
pound daily limit in a technical selloff, traders said.
    Sufficient cattle supplies and weaker trades last week in
U.S. Plains cash steer markets also weighed on futures.
    The most-active August contract        settled 2.525 cents
lower at 101.900 cents per pound, its lowest since April 20.
June cattle        finished at 104.625 cents, notching its
biggest percentage decline since March 29.
    Beef packers bought relatively large amounts of cattle late
last week, giving some traders the impression that buyers would
be less aggressive this week, analyst David Hales said in his
daily Hales Cattle Letter.
    Wholesale beef prices continued to climb, boosting profit
margins for packers who could pay less for cattle and sell their
beef at higher prices. Choice-grade wholesale beef rose $1.15 to
$232.12 per cwt, highest in about 10 months, according to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.           
    CME August feeder cattle        settled 3.525 cents lower at
140.375 cents per pound, tracking losses in the more actively
traded live cattle futures.
    Lean hog futures         were higher, recovering from
declines on Friday. June hogs        were up 1.050 cents at
76.150 cents per pound and July hogs        were 1.750 cents
higher at 78.725 cents.
    Hog prices often increase seasonally ahead of the summer as
pork prices also rise and animal weights typically decline,
limiting available supplies, according to Steiner Consulting
Group analyst Altin Kalo.
    "In May, prices tend to move higher," Kalo said.
    Hogs in the key cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
were up 76 cents to an average of $63.22 per cwt and wholesale
pork was up 8 cents to $73.55 per cwt, USDA said.         

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)
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