Edition:
United Kingdom

Michael Hirtzer

In U.S. Midwest, 22F 'feels like spring' after days of brutal cold

02 Feb 2019

CHICAGO/NEW YORK Bone-chilling cold that paralyzed a chunk of the United States this week and killed at least 18 people eased on Friday as an errant Arctic air mass retreated ahead of a warmer-than-normal weekend in areas of the Midwest and Northeast.

Oink, moo and brrr: Polar vortex strikes U.S. farm belt

31 Jan 2019

CHICAGO Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens in the teeth of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds.

Extreme cold forces shutdowns at U.S. pork plants, grain elevators

30 Jan 2019

CHICAGO Hog slaughterhouses and grain elevators were shut down in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday as the coldest temperatures in years gripped the region.

Extreme cold forces shutdowns at U.S. pork plants, grain elevators

30 Jan 2019

CHICAGO, Jan 30 Hog slaughterhouses and grain elevators were shut down in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday as the coldest temperatures in years gripped the region.

Polar vortex strikes U.S. farm belt

30 Jan 2019

CHICAGO Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens before hunkering down for a day of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds.

Oink, moo and brrr: Polar vortex strikes U.S. farm belt

30 Jan 2019

CHICAGO, Jan 30 Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens before hunkering down for a day of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds.

Trade war shifts feed for U.S. hogs away from ethanol byproduct

17 Jan 2019

CHICAGO A steep downturn in U.S. ethanol output linked to the trade war with China is raising costs for American farmers who feed a byproduct of the corn-based biofuel to hogs, cattle and chickens.

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures extend slide to 2-week low on technicals

04 Jan 2019

By Michael Hirtzer CHICAGO, Jan 4 Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures slumped to a two-week low on Friday, extending a decline to the fifth consecutive session on pressure from technical selling, traders and analysts said. Feeder cattle and lean hog futures also eased, with feeders weighed down by rising corn prices that raised costs to fatten animals. Cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at mostly $123 per cwt on Thursday - sales that were about unchanged from the previous week and a sell signal for some futures traders. "The steady cash must have been a disappointment. A lot of the trade expected it to go higher," said Archer Financial Services broker Dennis Smith. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said cash cattle trades on Thursday in the Plains totaled 50,500 head at an average price of $122.83 per cwt. CME February live cattle settled down 1.300 cent at 121.925 cents per pound, the lowest level since Dec. 20. The contract's weekly decline of 1.8 percent was the biggest since early in November. CME March feeder cattle were off 1.625 cents to 142.825 cents per pound, the lowest since Dec. 18. Cattle prices last week reached multi-month highs before turning lower this week. "Live and feeder cattle failed to bounce back on the challenging week," CHS Hedging said in a client note. CME February hog futures settled down 0.200 cent at 61.950 cents per pound as some investors took profits after the hog market climbed for three straight sessions. (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer Editing by Leslie Adler)

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures ease on technical selling after steady cash sales

03 Jan 2019

By Michael Hirtzer CHICAGO, Jan 3 U.S. cattle futures eased as much as 1 percent on Thursday, weighed down by technical selling and steady deals in cash markets in the southern Plains, traders and analysts said. Live cattle futures weakened for the fourth straight session on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The market had climbed to life-of-contract highs on Dec. 31, partially on expectations that snows, rains and falling temperatures last week in the U.S. Plains would hamper the transportation of livestock and bolster cash prices. But prices have given back some of those gains, with the front-month February live cattle finishing down 0.300 cent to 123.225 cents per pound, a one-week low. CME March feeder cattle eased 1.500 cent to 144.450 cents, lowest since Dec. 20. Cash cattle prices late last week surged about $4 per cwt to $123 per cwt. Trade developed at those same prices on Thursday in Kansas and Nebraska, disappointing some traders who had anticipated higher prices. However, the price levels likely were attractive to feedlots which had already hedged positions in the futures market, according to cattle analyst David Hales. "It's a good number. It's a great basis," Hales said. The basis is the difference between cash cattle sales and the backing futures price. Hales added that demand from beef packers was relatively strong after few animals traded last week. Cargill Inc , a major beef packer and one of the world's largest privately held businesses, reported a 20 percent decline in quarterly earnings on Thursday, pressured in part by the struggling Chinese hog sector. However, Cargill's beef business remained strong. "Performance in North American protein moved higher, as robust demand for beef and large supplies of fed cattle boosted beef production and sales to domestic and export markets," Cargill said in a release. Lean hog futures were mostly higher but held below Wednesday's session peaks as traders continued to bet on a pickup in U.S. pork exports to China. China, battling the highly contagious African swine fever virus, continued to cull hog herds and was widely expected to boost meat imports at some point this year. CME February hogs were up 0.450 cent to 62.150 cents. "February hogs traded above the 200-day moving average for the second day in a row but was unable to settle above that level at $62.52," CHS Hedging said in a market note. (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Richard Chang)

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures jump on hopes of U.S. pork exports to China

02 Jan 2019

By Michael Hirtzer CHICAGO, Jan 2 U.S. lean hog futures jumped to a nearly two-week high on Wednesday on speculation that exports of American pork to China will rise in the coming months, traders and analysts said. Representatives from the United States and China were negotiating to end the trade war between the world's biggest economies that has impeded shipments of pork, soybeans and other goods. China also was working to slow the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever virus. Each factor could boost exports of U.S. pork to China, where the ASF virus has forced the top consumer of the meat to cull hog herds. China on Wednesday reported a new outbreak on a farm with 73,000 pigs in Heilongjiang province while the agriculture ministry said slaughterhouses will have to test pig products for presence of the virus before selling them at market. Chicago Mercantile Exchange February lean hog futures surged as much as 4 percent to a high of 63.425 cents per pound before the contract settled at 61.700 cents, up 0.725. "The news of ASF at the really big farm in China was the catalyst," independent livestock futures trader Dan Norcini said of the rally in hog futures. He added that some commercial hog operations likely sold futures to lock in higher prices, which helped bring prices off their highs. China still has a 25 percent tariff on imports of American pork. Buyers in China have increased purchases of U.S. pork in recent weeks for supplies to be shipped at some point in 2019. But more sales were needed to convince some traders that China would buy enough pork to help eliminate large U.S. stockpiles. "This is another feather in the cap for the bulls, but we still don't have any business to China," Norcini said of pork exports. Cattle futures were mostly lower on Wednesday, weakening on technical selling amid a lack of news to propel gains. CME February live cattle settled down 0.350 cent at 123.525 cents per pound and CME March feeder cattle shed 0.800 cent to end at 145.950 cents per pound. (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer Editing by Tom Brown)

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