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LIVESTOCK-Cattle extend gains on fund buying; hogs ease on pork losses
April 12, 2017 / 9:10 PM / 7 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle extend gains on fund buying; hogs ease on pork losses

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. cattle futures extended
gains on Wednesday, with most live         and feeder        
cattle contracts hitting lifetime highs on investment fund
buying as wholesale beef prices also climbed, traders said.
    The higher cattle prices came despite expectations for
weaker trades this week in U.S. Plains cash cattle markets as
some beef packers were likely to reduce slaughter rates in the
days surrounding Sunday's Easter holiday, curbing demand.
    Most-active CME June live cattle        settled 0.650 cent
higher at 114.350 cents per pound, earlier hitting a
life-of-contract high of 115.050 cents. The April contract
       was the only cattle contract that did not hit a lifetime
high, ending up 0.950 cents at 124.200 cents, well below its
contract high of 132.250 cents reached in late 2015.
    Investors were betting that recent gains in equities markets
could entice consumers to boost purchases of goods such as
steaks and chops, according to U.S. Commodities analyst Don
Roose. "Often, a strong economy equates with a strong cattle
market," he said. 
    All feeder cattle futures contracts hit new highs for the
second straight session. CME May feeders        topped out at
139.775 cents per pound, before finishing at 137.825 cents, up
0.500 cent.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture after the closing of
futures trading said choice-grade wholesale beef was up 76 cents
to $210.13 per cwt.           
    Wholesale pork prices were down 44 cents to $74.73 per cwt,
USDA data showed.         
    Weaker pork price data at midday triggered lower prices in
CME lean hog futures        , with some contracts easing more
than 2 percent.
    April hog futures       , which expire next week, fell to
the lowest levels Dec. 6. Most-active June hog futures       
settled down 1.725 cents at 72.275 cents per pound, wiping out
gains seen earlier this week.
    U.S. hog production was up more than 5 percent in the first
quarter of the year, according to USDA data, and that larger
supply has dragged on the market so far this month.
    "The anticipation is that the supply is going to overwhelm
the demand," Roose said of hogs.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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