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LIVESTOCK-Hog futures hit 1-year high as pork prices extend gains
June 21, 2017 / 9:02 PM / a month ago

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures hit 1-year high as pork prices extend gains

3 Min Read

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures        
were mostly higher on Wednesday, with the front-month contract
       rising to the highest levels in a year on support from
rising prices for wholesale pork, traders and analysts said.
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange July lean hogs        notched
life-of-contract highs for the third straight session as
investors continued to exit nearby positions and roll into
deferred months. 
    July hogs finished 1.075 cents higher at 86.075 cents per
pound, rising to a session and contract high of 86.400 cents
shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture at late morning
showed sharply higher wholesale pork prices. Most-active August
hog futures        settled up 0.575 cent at 82.225 cents
    USDA said pork prices were up $2.24 to $101.09 per cwt, the
highest since October 2014. Pork bellies surged $5.22 to $185.83
per cwt, the highest since April 2014. Cash hog prices edged
lower in Iowa and southern Minnesota, USDA said.         
        
    "Extremely strong pork demand remains the big hog market
story and demand is generally more difficult to gauge than
supply, which makes it a bit harder to project where and when
prices will top out," brokerage Brock and Associates said in a
note to clients.
     
    LIVE CATTLE LOWER, FEEDERS HIGHER
    CME August live cattle        eased 0.550 cent to 115.350
cents per pound, holding above Tuesday's nearly two-month low of
113.650 cents. August feeder cattle futures        were up 0.725
cents at 144.050 cents per pound.
    Cattle prices had bounced from Tuesday's lows, and some
analysts thought the market had reached a short-term bottom
following more than a week of declines. However, cash cattle
prices continued to weaken, weighing on futures.
    Feedlots in Texas sold cattle on Thursday at about $122 per
cwt and in Kansas at $123, sales that were down $8-$9 from a
week ago.         
    "I wonder if this is a dead-cat bounce," Zaner Ag Hedge
senior market strategist Ted Seifried said, adding that the poor
recovery could spell lower cattle prices ahead.
    Analysts predicted that USDA in a monthly Cattle on Feed
report on Friday would show 2.085 million cattle placed on feed
in May, up 10.4 percent from the same time in 2016. More cattle
placed in feedlots increase the number of fattened animals
available for beef packers later in the year.             
    A few analysts expected the USDA in a monthly Cold Storage
report on Thursday to show total beef stocks in May at 438.6
million pounds and 572.0 million pounds for pork.
    

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Meredith
Mazzilli)
  

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