August 6, 2018 / 9:02 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle, hog futures decline on technical selling

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
livestock futures declined on Monday, pressured by technical
selling and expectations for weaker prices for cattle and hogs
in U.S. cash markets, traders and analysts said.
    Cattle eased from the highest levels in weeks while hogs
held just above their life-of-contract lows notched last week.
    Most-active October live cattle futures        tested their
peak from Friday of 112.150 cents per pound but did not surpass
that level, finishing down 0.450 cent at 111.550. September
feeder cattle futures        were down 1.175 cents at 151.850.
    Live cattle on Friday had climbed to the highest since July
26, bolstered by strength in the cash cattle market. Feedlots in
the southern Plains late on Friday sold cattle to beef packers
at $114 per cwt, up $2 from the previous week.         
    But cattle could struggle to fetch higher prices again this
week after packers replenished supplies, according to analyst
David Hales, author of his eponymous Hales Cattle Letter.
    "We don't think really think cash will be any higher this
week - it could be steady," Hales said of cattle.
    One large packer in Nebraska started this week's cattle
bidding at $112 per cwt, traders said.
    Wholesale prices for both beef and pork have trended lower
or sideways in recent weeks, after seasonal demand waned for
meat for summer outdoor grilling. The ebb in demand has kept a
lid on futures prices for cattle and hogs.
    Choice-grade beef was up 93 cents at $205.68 per cwt, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture said after the close of trading.
    Pork prices were up $1.13 to $72.81 per cwt, rising after
declining last week to the lowest levels since April.
    Cash hogs in the top Iowa and southern Minnesota markets
traded $1.67 lower at $52.99 per cwt, USDA said.
    "Cash hog markets remain under pressure from ample hog
supplies and pork market weakness this morning," Brock
Associates said in a note to clients.    
    CME October lean hogs        settled 0.550 cents lower at
50.225 cents per pound while the thinly traded August contract
       sank to a contract low of 56.400 cents before settling at
56.600 cents, down 1.900 cents.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Richard Chang)
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