February 26, 2018 / 11:18 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle to 2-wk low on bearish U.S. placements data

    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures         fell on Monday, with the benchmark April
contract        touching a two-week low following Friday's
bearish Cattle on Feed report from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, traders said.
    The government on Friday reported that 2.068 million head of
cattle were placed on feed last month, up 4.4 percent from a
year earlier and the highest January placements figure since
    Follow-through selling after Friday's disappointing weekly
USDA beef export sales data added to bearish sentiment in live
cattle futures.
    "That's two weeks in a row of weak beef export sales," said
Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale Inc.
    Most-active CME April live cattle        settled down 0.850
cent at 124.0 cents per pound.
    Feeder cattle         and lean hog futures         also
ended lower. CME April feeder cattle        settled down 0.550
cent at 147.950 cents per pound. Front-month March feeders
       finished down 0.450 cent at 145.550.
    Hog futures fell, snapping a four-session rally in the April
contract. CME April lean hogs        ended down 1.425 cents to
69.950 cents per pound.
    However, cash hogs in Iowa and Minnesota traded 17 cents
higher on Monday from the previous day, the USDA said, a
potentially supportive signal for futures.         
    "Today there was disappointment (among futures traders) that
we had not yet seen strength in cash hogs, but now that may
change," Nelson said.

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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