March 5, 2018 / 9:31 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Pork demand, wintry weather boosts CME hog futures

    CHICAGO, March 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hog futures        rose for a second straight session on
Monday, driven by improved wholesale pork prices and a winter
storm churning in parts of the upper western Corn Belt, said
    April hogs         closed 1.225 cents per pound higher at
68.800 cents, and May         finished 1.100 cents higher at
75.750 cents.
    Retailers paid more for pork as they prepare for the
approaching spring grilling season while featuring hams heading
into the Easter holiday, said analysts and traders.         
    They said snow and icy conditions in Iowa and Minnesota
might disrupt hog production, forcing packers in the region to
raise bids for supplies.          
    Funds in CME's livestock markets that follow the Standard &
Poor's Goldman Sachs Commodity Index sold, or "rolled," some of
their April long positions into the June contract. The process
was done in advance of similar moves that will officially begin
on Wednesday and last five business days.

    Short-covering and firmer beef prices at wholesale reversed
CME live cattle futures' recent losses, said traders.
    They said fund buying provided added support to deferred
contracts after they initially broke through technical
resistance levels.
    April         ended 1.050 cents per pound higher at 123.225
cents, and June         finished 0.950 cent higher at 115.350
    Processors may compete for cattle this week given their
much-improved margins, a trader said.        
    Supermarkets are gearing up to feature beef for spring
grilling despite the usual slowdown in meat demand that
accompanies the Lenten season, he said.           
    Last week, packers paid mostly $126 to $127 per cwt for
slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle that a week earlier brought
    Technical buying, steady-to-firmer cash feeder cattle prices
and higher CME live cattle futures rallied the exchange's feeder
cattle contracts. 
    March         feeders ended 1.475 cents per pound higher at
145.150 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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