August 10, 2018 / 9:36 PM / 4 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures mostly higher on technicals, lower corn

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - U.S. cattle futures finished
mostly higher on Friday, lifted narrowly by technical buying and
as a downturn in corn prices cut feed costs for fattening
animals, traders and analysts said.
    Prices for both corn and soybeans fell sharply when the U.S.
Department of Agriculture forecast larger-than-expected harvests
of both crops in a monthly supply and demand report.
    Gains in cattle futures of less than 1 percent, compared to
losses in corn of 3 percent and soybeans nearly 5 percent,
underscored a relatively quiet session in the livestock trade.
    "Everyone's attention was on the grains, so there wasn't
much action in the meats," one cattle futures trader said.    
    The drop in corn costs provided mild support for Chicago
Mercantile Exchange feeder cattle futures        , with the
September cattle        settling up 0.500 cent to 149.525 cents
per pound. More actively traded October live cattle futures
       were 0.200 cent higher at 109.250 cents per pound.
    Abundant U.S. cattle supplies and the muted reaction to the
steep decline in corn prices could weigh on traders' sentiment
next week. "I'm not too impressed with the feeders action - they
barely closed higher. The upside seems pretty stiff," the cattle
trader added.
    Feedlots began selling their cattle during the trading
session. In Texas and Kansas, feedlots sold slaughter-ready
cattle at about $111 per cwt, down $3 from trades a week ago,
traders said.         
    Lean hog futures         were narrowly mixed, moving little
after some hog contracts on Thursday surged by their daily price
limit of 3.000 cents per pound.
    Hogs have been under pressure for weeks by declining prices
for cash hogs and pork - and subsequent reduced slaughter rates
by pork packers. Hogs gained on Thursday on bargain buying after
prices earlier dipped to life-of-contract lows.
    CME October hogs        on Friday gave back some of those
gains, declining 0.225 cent to 51.175 cents per pound.
    In the top cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota, hogs
fetched an average price of $45.22 per cwt, down 82 cents,
according to USDA data.         

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by Tom Brown)
  
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