May 2, 2018 / 8:06 PM / 6 months ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle sag despite fundamentals; funds roll positions

    CHICAGO, May 2 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle        nearby contracts on Wednesday were weakened by
funds that sold, or "rolled," June positions into back months
ahead of similar moves early next week, said traders.
    Nearby market losses trumped future's bullish discount to
cash prices, strong wholesale beef values and triple-digit beef
packer profits.                   
    June         live cattle closed 0.975 cent per pound lower
at 104.850, and August         ended down 0.100 cent at 103.975 
cents.
    Almost 400 of the nearly 3,000 head of cattle at Wednesday's
Fed Cattle Exchange brought mostly $122.50 per cwt.
    A few slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in Kansas on Tuesday
fetched $118 versus $124 a week ago. Other cattle there and in
Texas are priced at $126.
    The bulk of last week's cash cattle sales in the Plains were
 $118 to $126.50.
    "Everything is flowing in a very positive manner. It's hard
to get extremely negative when you've got everybody in the top
end of the supply chain making a lot of money," said West Oak
Commodities analyst Tom Tippens.
    Packer margins remain strong as beef demand picks up for
spring grilling, May National Beef Month and retail preparation
for the Memorial Day holiday, he said.
    Cargill's Schuyler, Nebraska beef processing plant resumed
normal operations after Tuesday's labor dispute, a company
spokesman said on Wednesday.             
    Short-covering, steady-to-firmer cash feeder cattle prices
and higher back-month CME live cattle futures boosted the
exchange's feeder cattle contracts.
    May         closed up 0.725 cent per pound at 138.625 
cents.
    
    HOGS END WEAKER
    CME lean hogs dropped on profit-taking following the
morning's cash price retreat, said traders. 
    They said some investors were put off by future's sizable
premiums to the exchange's hog index for April 30 at 62.45
cents.
    May         closed 0.550 cent per pound lower at 66.900
cents. Most actively traded June         ended down 0.400 cent
at 73.500 cents.
    Some processors have enough hogs through the rest of the
week, a trader said. Packers may bid up for hogs in areas where
spring planting has taken priority over moving pigs to market,
he said.
    Wholesale pork values gained for a fourth straight session,
fueled by spring cook outs and higher pork belly prices leading
into the summer bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich season, the trader
said.         

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by David Gregorio)
  
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