September 13, 2017 / 9:38 PM / 10 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures gain on technicals, cash market hopes

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures
        climbed more than 1 percent on Wednesday, rebounding
after two straight sessions of declines on technical buying and
hopes cattle fetch steady to higher prices this week in Plains
cash markets, traders and analysts said.
    Investors continued to exit positions in nearby cattle and
lean hog futures         and move into deferred contracts, on
the fourth of a five-day roll for traders tracking the Standard
& Poor's Goldman Sacks Commodity Index          .
    Short-covering in Chicago Mercantile Exchange October live
cattle futures        contributed to gains, with the contract
settling up 1.275 cents to 107.550 cents per pound while
December cattle        was up 1.300 cents to 112.850 cents.
    Some traders were optimistic beef packers who were enjoying
huge profit margins will buy cattle near last week's cash sales
of $105 per cwt. A small number of cattle sold at the online Fed
Cattle Exchange auction at an average of $104.75 per cwt on
Wednesday, according to the auction website.
    "Cash (cattle) will be steady, maybe even $1 higher," said
Cassie Fish, an analyst and author of blog The Beef.
    She said there were signs that wholesale beef prices were
nearing a seasonal low. Higher meat prices could entice packers
to more aggressively bid for cattle. 
    Choice-grade wholesale beef prices were down 39 cents to
$190.40 per cwt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Beef
packers were earning roughly $150 per cattle slaughtered, up
from about $60 per head a month ago, according to advisory
HedgersEdge LLC.                   
    CME October feeder cattle futures        were up 0.625 cent
to 148.600 cents per pound, tracking the bigger gains in the
more actively traded live cattle market.
    CME October lean hog futures        finished up 0.125 cents
per pound, gaining slightly on bargain buying after the contract
earlier tumbled to a roughly 11-month low. Most other hog
contracts were narrowly lower, with December hogs       
finishing 0.325 cent lower at 56.775 cents.
    Abundant supplies of U.S. hogs have weighed on prices for
    Cash hog prices were down $1.06 to $54.78 per cwt in the key
Iowa and Minnesota market and U.S. wholesale pork prices eased
11 cents to $80.30 per cwt, according to USDA data.         

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; editing by Diane
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