July 21, 2017 / 6:57 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Improved cash prices lifts CME live cattle futures

    * Feeder cattle finishes higher
    * USDA cattle reports at 2 p.m. CDT (1900 GMT)
    * Hog market settles flat to lower

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, July 21 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle futures finished firmer on Friday, led by higher
cash prices than earlier this week, traders said.
    Technical buying and futures' discounts to cash returns
provided more market support.
    Investors were awaiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
monthly Cattle On Feed report on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT (1900
    The USDA will simultaneously publish the mid-year U.S.
cattle inventory report.
    August         ended 0.550 cent per pound higher at 116.425
cents and above the 10-day moving average of 116.340 cents.
October         finished up 0.325 cent at 117.400 cents.
    On Friday morning, market-ready, or cash cattle in Kansas
and Texas brought $120 per cwt. That was steady with last week
but up from Wednesday's $118 to $118.50 per cwt Fed Cattle
Exchange sales.
    Remaining packer bids in the U.S. Plains were $119 to $120
per cwt, with sellers holding out for more money, said feedlot
    "Packers need cattle. And this is as good as these sellers
have felt in a long time as far as thinking they had the upper
hand," said KIS Futures Vice President Lane Broadbent.
    Tight supplies and profitable packer margins underpinned
cash prices this week, said traders and analysts. Seasonally
slumping beef demand may soon bottom out as retailers buy meat
for U.S. Labor Day holiday demand, they said.                   
    On Monday the USDA will issue the monthly cold storage
report at 2 p.m. CST (1900 GMT) that will include total June 
beef and pork inventories.
    Two analysts surveyed by Reuters, on average, projected last
month's total beef stocks at 401.8 million pounds and 544.8
million for pork.
    CME feeder cattle closed higher led by firmer live cattle
futures and sharply lower corn prices.
    August feeders         ended up 0.675 cents per pound at
152.950 cents.

    Weaker cash and wholesale pork prices, along with technical
selling, weighed on CME lean hogs, said traders.
    Investors sold deferred months and bought August based on
its sizable discount to CME's hog index for July 19 at 92.00
    August         closed unchanged at 81.100 cents per pound.
    October         ended 0.625 cent lower at 67.225 cents, and
December         0.975 cent lower at 61.975 cents.
    Both contracts settled below their respective 100-day moving
average of 67.411 and 62.392 cents, respectively.
    Building seasonal supplies continued to pressure cash prices
and wholesale pork values, a trader said.                   

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