February 28, 2018 / 11:10 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle futures sag on technicals, lower cash trade

    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures         fell on Wednesday, with the April
contract        notching a 2-1/2-week low on month-end technical
selling and lower cash cattle trade, brokers said.
    Cash cattle fetched $126 per cwt at feedlots in Texas and
Kansas, and $126 to $127 in Nebraska, down $1 to $2 from deals a
week earlier, traders said.             
    Most-active CME April live cattle        settled down 0.975
cent at 123.275 cents per pound, falling below chart support at
the contract's 100-day moving average. The February live cattle
contract        expired at 127.50 cents.
    CME April feeder cattle        settled down 2.200 cents at
147.000 cents per pound and front-month March feeders       
finished down 1.8 cents at 144.750.
    Choice-grade wholesale boxed beef was up 51 cents to $221.03
per cwt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    CME hog futures closed sharply lower, pressured by
profit-taking at the end of the month and slumping pork belly
prices. CME April lean hogs        ended down 2.725 cents at
67.225 cents per pound.
    The pork cutout that tracks values of cuts such as hams was
down $2.09 to $77.44 per cwt, and prices for pork bellies, used
to make bacon, tumbled $8.74 to $118.68 per cwt, the USDA
    Commodity funds hold net long positions in live cattle,
feeder cattle and lean hog futures, leaving all three markets
vulnerable to bouts of long liquidation.             

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen
Editing by James Dalgleish)
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