July 20, 2018 / 8:03 PM / 2 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures mixed, hogs mixed ahead of USDA reports

    By Mark Weinraub
    CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures were
mixed on Friday, with the front-month contract firming slightly
while deferreds eased as traders staked out positions ahead of
the U.S. government's closely watched inventory and cattle on
feed reports.
    Pre-report positioning also was noted in fed cattle and hog
contracts, with both of those markets easing slightly. Lean hog
futures hit fresh contract lows during the session but closed
above those levels.
    The U.S. Agriculture Department reports, released after the
market close, were mostly in line with trade expectations.
    Ranchers sent 1.3 percent more cattle to U.S. feedlots
during June than a year ago, according to Friday’s USDA monthly
Cattle-On-Feed report, making it the most for the month since
2006.
    Analysts said the report was neutral for futures action on
Monday.                          
    Friday's U.S. government’s semiannual cattle inventory
survey implied slower cattle herd growth, analysts said.
            
    Most active CME October hogs        settled down 0.950 cent
at 51.275 cents per pound while August hogs        dropped 0.800
cent to 66.450 cents.
    CME August live cattle        ended 0.025 cent higher at
108.925 cents per pound. CME October live cattle        was off
0.400 cent at 110.250 cents. 
    CME August feeder cattle futures         dropped 0.950 cent
to 153.500 cents per pound and September feeders         shed
0.400 cent to 154.375 cents.  

 (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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