October 27, 2017 / 8:27 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle rise on firmer cash price expectations

    * Feeder cattle closes weaker
    * Hogs snap three-day win streak

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
nearby live cattle contracts        on Friday gained for a
second straight day, guided by expectations for steady-to-higher
cash prices by late Friday, traders said.
    October         live cattle, which expire on Oct. 31,
finished 1.225 cents per pound higher at 115.375 cents. Most
actively traded December         closed up 0.125 cent to 120.825
    So far packer bids for slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in
the U.S. Plains were $111 to $112 per cwt against sellers asking
$116. Last week cattle fetched $110 to $112 per cwt, according
to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
    Cash prices might benefit from fewer animals for sale than a
week ago and rising profits for packers as they charge retailers
more for beef, said analysts and traders.                   
    Some packers may be forced to pay more for supplies that
might be hard to come by after feedlots moved cattle to market
ahead of schedule to avoid a late fourth-quarter supply
    "Cattle supplies could be marginally tighter than originally
anticipated in the coming months, which may support cash
prices," an analyst wrote in his newsletter to clients. 
    On Friday, USDA projected this week's cattle slaughter down
12,000 head from last week.          
    Profit-taking and deferred-month live cattle futures
weakness undercut CME feeder cattle       .
    November         feeder cattle closed down 0.700 cent to
156.475 cents.
    CME lean hogs        were pressured by softer cash prices
and profit-taking after three days of gains, said traders.
    December         hogs ended 0.600 cent per pound lower at  
64.450 cents, and February         closed down 0.275 cent to
70.250 cents.
    Packers this week reined in cash spending after consistently
bidding up for hogs in recent weeks to maintain market share,
which trimmed their margins.        
    The cash market had an impressive rally the past three to
four weeks, "so I think it's probably time we take a little
breather," a Midwest hog merchant said.
    He said that so far an early-winter storm in parts of
Minnesota and Iowa has not hampered transportation of hogs to
packing plants in the region.
    Market participants are keeping tabs on pork demand as
October Pork Month winds down, which would allow grocers a
chance to promote beef and chicken, said traders and analysts. 
    They said U.S. Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday ham
business, and end users storing pork bellies for spring and
summer bacon demand, will largely influence wholesale pork
prices over the next several weeks.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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