April 28, 2017 / 8:14 PM / 9 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Fund buying again moves CME live cattle to 1-year high

    * Feeder cattle hits 7-1/2-month top
    * Lean hog contracts finish higher

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, April 28 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle        on Friday notched a one-year high for a third
straight day, with strength from fund buying during the month's
final trading session, traders said.
    They said brisk wholesale beef demand and deferred-month
futures' discounts to this week's cash prices helped drive
contracts to fresh highs.
    Funds were partly behind Friday's market gains, said Oak
Investment Group President Joe Ocrant. But most of the buying
was because of the large discount between June futures and cash,
which appeared even greater after April expired, he said. 
    April live cattle        , which expired at noon CDT (1700
GMT), closed 2.400 cents per pound higher at 138.000 cents and
posted a new high of 138.900 cents. Most actively traded June
        ended 2.500 cents higher at 124.025 cents and marked a
new high of 124.225 cents.
    CME live cattle on Monday will revert to its 3.000-cent
daily price limit after failing to settle up the 4.500-cent
expanded limit on Friday.
    Processors this week bought market-ready, or cash, cattle at
$135 to $140 per cwt, up from $130 to $133 last week.
    Friday morning's average wholesale beef price jumped $1.85
per cwt to $221.00 from Thursday. Select cuts climbed $1.24 to
$207.92, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
    Sharply higher live cattle futures pushed CME feeder cattle
       to new contract highs and a 7-1/2 month top. 
    May feeder cattle         ended 2.975 cents per pound higher
at 149.550 cents and made a new high of 149.850 cents. Feeder
cattle will resume their 4.500-cent limit on Monday after not
settling up Friday's 6.750-cents expanded limit.
    Fund buying and short-covering boosted CME lean hogs, said
    They said Friday morning's unexpected cash price retreat
capped May hog gains.
    May         closed up 0.075 cent per pound to 66.975 cents.
Most-actively traded June         ended 1.175 cents higher at
74.000 cents.
    Friday morning's average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota
was at $54.92 per cwt, down 61 cents from Thursday, the USDA
    Packers cut cash hog bids after shoring up inventories for 
Saturday's slaughter, a trader said. Earlier this week, some
processors paid more for hogs, whose numbers start to decline
this time of year, he said.
    "Packers may again bid up for hogs next week if they can
charge retailers more for pork," the trader said.
    USDA quoted Friday morning's average wholesale pork price up
2 cents per cwt from Wednesday to $73.67.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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