December 21, 2018 / 9:47 PM / 6 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Nearby live cattle rise on firm cash market prices

    By Karl Plume
    CHICAGO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures ended mixed on Friday, with firm cash cattle
markets supporting actively traded nearby months.
    Forecasts for possible winter weather in the U.S. Plains
next week, which could slow down weight gains and cattle
marketings, added further support.
    Feedlot cattle in Nebraska traded at mostly $119 per cwt on
Thursday, up $1 from last week. Offers for cattle at southern
Plains feedlots held firm at $121 to $122 per cwt, with trading
expected on Friday afternoon.
    "All in all, the cattle market looks really firm right now,
even though market-ready supplies in the cash market are higher
than a year ago," said Doug Houghton, analyst with Brock
Associates Inc.
    "If you look out at these smaller placements, you're looking
at smaller cattle supplies in the late spring and into summer
that could boost prices," he said, referring to a U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) cattle supply report released a
day earlier.
    The USDA pegged the supply of all cattle on feed as of Dec.
1 at 102 percent of a year ago while cattle placed on feed in
November were at 95 percent of a year ago.             
    CME February live cattle         rose 0.350 cent to 122.700
cents per pound. Deferred contracts were up 0.250 to down 0.625
    Feeder cattle futures ended mixed as higher corn prices
limited buying interest.
    CME January feeder cattle futures         ended down 0.075
cent at 147.350 cents while March futures         were 0.075
cent higher at 145.525 cents.
    Nearby lean hog contracts eased on weak cash hog prices,
while deferred contracts firmed on a slightly
smaller-than-expected U.S. hog breeding herd.
    The USDA said on Thursday afternoon the U.S. hog herd and
supplies kept for breeding were both at below expectations, at
102 percent of a year ago.             
    The most active CME February hog futures contract        
ended down 1.250 cents at 61.100 cents per pound. Deferred
contracts were down 0.550 cent to up 0.475 cent.

 (Reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by Richard Chang)
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