December 28, 2018 / 10:36 PM / 6 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures edge higher on technical buying, U.S. weather

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures         edged higher on Friday, buoyed by
technical buying and as wintry weather in the U.S. Plains
hampered transportation of animals to market, traders and
analysts said.
    Heavy snowfall, rains and falling temperatures in much of
the central United States stressed livestock, likely slowing
weight gains in cattle. Beef packers lifted bids to buy cattle
but trading in cash markets was slow.
    "Live and feeder cattle traded higher from the harsh weather
that pummels the Midwest," CHS Hedging said in a market note.
    Most-active CME February live cattle         settled up
0.225 cent at 124.175 cents per pound, finishing below
Thursday's life-of-contract highs of 124.900 cents.
    CME January feeder cattle         climbed to the highest
since Nov. 26 before finishing up 0.075 cent at 149.075 cents.
    "Feedlots continue to hold out for higher prices amid live
cattle futures strength and rough weather conditions," brokerage
Brock & Associates said in a client note.
    Lean hog futures were narrowly mixed as traders consolidated
positions with 2018 drawing to a close. Hog futures have stayed
above Wednesday's six-week lows but struggled to bounce
significantly from those lows in light trading.
    February lean hog futures         settled up 0.075 cent at
60.650 cents per pound and April hogs         down 0.175 cent at
 66.500 cents.
    Hogs in the top cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
were 39 cents higher to an average price of $44.93 per cwt,
according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.         

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Richard Chang)
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