February 16, 2018 / 11:03 PM / a month ago

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle rally on stronger Plains cash market

    By Karl Plume
    CHICAGO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures          climbed to fresh three-month highs on
Friday as firming beef packer bids at U.S. Plains feedlot
markets fueled expectations of higher cash cattle sales this
    Tighter supplies of market-ready cattle on feedlot showlists
this week helped to support the cash market. Trading later
developed near the futures market close.
    "The market rallied all week anticipating higher cash
trade," said Midwest Market Solutions President Brian Hoops.
    "Feedlots really had a bullish mentality with the smaller
cattle numbers and the fact that packers were short-bought so
they priced the showlists accordingly," he said.
    Feedlot cattle traded in Kansas and Texas at $129 to $130
per cwt, up from $125 to mostly $126 a week earlier, according
to trade sources.
    Several weeks of harsh winter weather in the Plains had
slowed cattle weight gains, which limited slaughter-ready
supplies for packers.
    Those cattle, however, will ultimately reach market weight
in the coming weeks. That, traders said, weighed on deferred
futures contracts.
    CME February         live cattle ended up 0.825 cent per
pound at 130.100 cents. Actively traded April         gained
0.400 cent to 127.650 cents and June         rose 0.075 cent to
118.675 cents.
    Feeder cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, with prices
anchored by cash market headwinds as demand for feeders is
slowing seasonally.
    March feeders         were down 0.100 cent per pound at 
149.725 cents while April futures         rose 0.100 cent to
152.400 cents.
    CME lean hog futures declined on technical selling and
pressure from easing cash market prices.
    Cash hogs in the closely followed Iowa and southern
Minnesota market dropped by 41 cents per cwt on Friday.         
    Actively traded CME April lean hogs         settled 1.575
cents per pound lower at a 4-1/2 month low of 68.150 cents after
failing at midweek to break above chart resistance at their
200-day moving average. May futures         were 0.975 cent
lower at 74.925 cents.

 (Reporting by Karl Plume
Editing by Matthew Lewis)
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