April 3, 2017 / 8:54 PM / 8 months ago

LIVESTOCK-CME hog futures slump on pork demand fears

    * Live cattle finishes weaker
    * Feeder cattle closes lower

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, April 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hog futures fell on Monday, pressured by concerns that the
seasonal bump in supplies might further hurt cash prices and
curb retail pork buying, said traders.
    They said sell stops and fund liquidation hastened hog
market losses.
    April hogs         ended 0.875 cent per pound lower at 
64.800 cents, and below the 200-day moving average of 65.410
cents. May         finished down 0.450 cent to 69.400 cents.
    Packers are expected to cut back Saturday kills to protect 
their margins and in anticipation of possible easing product
demand through the Easter holiday, said Hehmeyer Trading +
Investments senior hog futures trader Tom Cawthorne. 
    Slaughter-ready, or cash, hog prices have declined over the
past seven sessions as supplies grow seasonally.
    Monday afternoon's average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota
at $62.19 per cwt slipped 19 cents from Friday, according to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    USDA estimated that packers on Monday processed 443,000
hogs, up 2,000 from last week and 9,000 more than a year
    Separate U.S. government data on Monday afternoon showed the
average U.S. wholesale pork price 49 cents per cwt higher than
on Tuesday at $75.89.
    Monday's average pork packer margins were a positive $21.55
per head, up from a positive $19.75 for Friday, as calculated by
    CME nearby live cattle contracts finished weaker after
investors sold April futures and simultaneously bought deferred
months in anticipation of softer cash prices this week, said
    April live cattle         closed 0.525 cent per pound lower
at 119.425 cents, and June         down 0.175 cent to 110.700
    Processors may avoid bidding up for cattle after margins
slipped into the red, a trader said. Grocers are not buying
large amounts of beef knowing cattle numbers will soon pick up
seasonally, he said.
    Monday afternoon's average wholesale beef price was 69 cents
per cwt lower than on Friday at $213.43. Select cuts fell $2.65
to $201.35, the USDA said.
    Last week most market-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S.
Plains fetched $128 to $130 per cwt versus $130 to $134.50 in
the previous week.
    Profit-taking, softer front-month live cattle futures and $1
to $3 per cwt lower cash feeder cattle prices pulled down CME
feeder cattle contracts.
    April feeder cattle         closed 0.875 cent per pound 
lower at 133.075 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; editing by Diane Craft)

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