(Reuters is considering dropping the daily commodities wrap
after March 10 and publishing the report on a discretionary
basis. Please send any comments on this move to Josephine Mason
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Feb 27 Lean hogs, one of the smaller
U.S. commodity markets, pressed on with this week's powerful
rally to reach 2011 highs on Thursday after Russia said it would
resume American pork imports, while cattle prices hit record
Bigger raw materials markets from oil to gasoline
, natural gas, copper, aluminium
and wheat posted losses as players squared positions ahead
of February's close on Friday.
Live cattle <0#LC:>, raw sugar, arabica coffee
, soybeans and cotton rose along with lean
hogs on a combination of speculative and demand-driven buying.
The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index, a
bellwether for basic resource prices, settled flat for a second
straight day after the mixed performance across the complex.
Lean hog futures, a $12 billion market compared to the $48
billion for soybean futures, took center stage as prices rose
for a third day in a row.
Worries about tighter supplies have turned the spotlight on
U.S. meat markets lately. Lean hog prices are up nearly 22
percent on the year and live cattle futures are up almost 12
percent, making them the second and third best performers on the
Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity index this year after arabica
In Thursday's session, the front-month contract for lean
hogs finished up 2.8 percent at $1.0385 a lb after
hitting an August 2011 high at $1.04025.
Traders attributed the latest run-up to Russia's
announcement on Thursday that it plans to resume around March 10
pork imports from the United States.
"I would think it's driving the market. It means we will
have more people needing pork in anticipation of tightening
supply," said James Burns, president of Chicago-based JBS
Russia banned most meat imports from the United States early
last year due to concerns over the use of the feed additive
Ractopamine is a growth stimulant used to make meat leaner.
It is banned in some countries because of concerns it could
remain in the meat and cause health problems, despite scientific
evidence showing it to be safe.
Live cattle's front-month contract finished up nearly
1 percent at $1.50050 a lb after setting a new high at $1.50950.
Prices at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT
CLOSE CHG CHG
US crude 102.23 -0.36 -0.4%
Brent crude 108.97 -0.55 -0.5%
Natural gas 4.511 -0.030 -0.7%
US gold 1328.20 0.00 0.0%
Gold 1330.66 -0.04 0.0%
US Copper 3.24 -0.01 -0.2%
LME Copper 7025.00 -1.00 0.0%
Dollar 80.274 -0.154 -0.2%
CRB 301.590 -0.024 0.0%
US corn 448.00 -7.50 -1.7%
US soybeans 1393.50 -13.75 -1.0%
US wheat 582.25 -17.75 -3.0%
US Coffee 178.75 1.65 0.9%
US Cocoa 2933.00 24.00 0.8%
US Sugar 17.44 0.15 0.9%
US silver 21.314 21.101 1.6%
US platinum 1453.40 24.30 0.0%
US palladium 742.25 10.75 1.5%
(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)