May 10, 2018 / 8:55 PM / 3 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Short-covering boosts CME live cattle futures

    CHICAGO, May 10 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle        futures closed higher on Thursday after
short-covering and fund buying reversed the previous session's
losses, said traders.
     In a trading strategy known as bull spreads, traders bought
June and simultaneously sold deferred months, stirred by firmer
wholesale beef values and future's discount to expected cash
prices this week.
    June         live cattle closed 1.850 cents per pound higher
at 107.525 cents, and above the 10-day moving average of 106.125
cents. August         ended 0.925 cent higher at 104.300 cents.
    Packer bids for slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S.
Plains were $119 to $122 per cwt against up to $128 asking
prices. On Wednesday, a small number of cash cattle in Nebraska
brought $119 to $121.
    Last week's overall cash cattle trade in the Plains was $118
to $128 per cwt.
    Bullish futures investors were encouraged by the resumption
of higher wholesale beef prices amid spring grilling and ahead
of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.           
    Lighter weekly cattle weights suggest feedlots are actively
moving animals to market on schedule, or current, to avoid them
backing up amid forecasts for increased supplies ahead, they
    "Our cattle are extremely current. So we're holding out for
steady-or-better prices than last week," a Plains feedlot source
    Technical buying and higher live cattle futures rallied
CME's feeder cattle contracts.
    May         closed 1.450 cents per pound higher at 138.600

    Firmer cash and wholesale pork prices and short-covering
landed most CME lean hogs months in bullish trading territory,
traders said.
    Some investors bought deferred months and sold May ahead of
its expiration on Monday, they added.
    CME May         closed 0.450 cent per pound lower at 65.475
cents. Most actively traded June         ended up 0.750 cent at
77.325 cents. July         closed 0.475 cent higher at 78.075
cents, and above the 20-day moving average of 77.825.
    A few packers have enough hogs for the rest of the week, but
others need hogs for next week while taking advantage of their
profitable margins and improved pork demand, a trader said.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters, editing by G Crosse)
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