May 3, 2017 / 8:47 PM / 2 years ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle soars to new highs, 3-cent price limit

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, May 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle contracts on Wednesday posted new highs, and nearby
months hit their 3.000-cent daily price limit, sparked by brisk
beef demand and stronger-than-anticipated cash prices, traders
    June         settled at 130.050 cents and August        
123.800 - limit up and fresh highs for both contracts.
Thursday's live cattle trading limit will be expanded to 4.500
    Cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded from $145 to $147 per
cwt on Wednesday, up from $134 to $136 per cwt last week,
analysts and feedlot sources said.
    A small number of animals at Wednesday morning's Fed Cattle
Exchange, on average, brought $140.15 per cwt compared with last
week's $131.68 average high.
    Wednesday afternoon's average wholesale beef price jumped
$3.14 per cwt to $232.59. Select cuts climbed $1.61 to $214.89,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
    "Packers were crawling all over themselves to pay up for
these cattle," said Jim Clarkson, a broker with A&A Trading Inc.
    Some processors may have been caught short on inventory
after selling product in advance to retailers that bought meat
for spring grilling, analysts and traders said.
    Cattle weights declined in recent weeks, they added, which
reduced the amount of beef available to grocers.
    Live cattle futures buying boosted CME feeder cattle       
to their second straight 13-month top and August up by its
4.500-cent limit. 
    May feeder cattle         ended 3.675 cents per pound higher
at 153.300 cents while August         closed at 160.100 cents.
Feeder cattle's limit will be expanded to 6.750 cents on
    Fund buying, along with strong cash and wholesale pork
prices, drove up CME lean hogs, traders said.
    May         closed 1.000 cent per pound higher at 67.950
cents, and above the 20-day moving average of 66.942 cents. Most
actively traded June         ended 1.400 cents higher at 75.550
cents and surpassed the 200-day moving average of 74.633 cents.
    Wednesday afternoon's average cash hog price in
Iowa/Minnesota was at $58.92 per cwt, $2.78 higher than on
Tuesday, the USDA said.
    USDA quoted Wednesday afternoon's average wholesale pork
price up 42 cents per cwt from Tuesday to $76.31, with higher
prices for all categories listed except ham.
    Processors are compelled to offer farmers more money while
charging retailers more for pork as hog supplies decline
seasonally, traders said.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters, editing by G Crosse)
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