July 12, 2018 / 11:51 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle, hog futures turn up on short-covering

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, July 12 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
livestock futures ticked higher on Thursday, boosted by
short-covering and technical buying after prices probed new lows
earlier this week, traders said.
    Futures for cattle and lean hogs notched narrow gains
despite fears of weaker prices in cash markets and a lower trend
in wholesale meat values - as well as expectations that U.S.
pork and beef exports could drop due to tariffs on various meat
cuts in China and Mexico.
    Hog futures had eased to life-of-contract lows on the first
three days of the week, before recouping a portion of those
losses. The most-active August hogs contract        finished
1.625 cents higher at 70.425 cents per pound.
    CME August live cattle        was 1.175 cents higher at
105.025 cents per pound and August feeder cattle        1.625
cents higher at 151.025 cents. Each recovered from falling on
Wednesday to the lowest levels so far in July.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture in a monthly supply and
demand report           predicted increased production of U.S.
red meats of beef and pork this year.
    USDA in daily reports said wholesale choice-grade beef
prices declined 86 cents to $206.58 per cwt and pork prices
eased 9 cents to $83.51 per cwt. Meat prices have fallen since
the U.S. Independence Day holiday on July 4. Retailers stock up
on supplies for outdoor grilling for the holiday and then
generally slow purchases.
    "Boxed beef continued to drift lower as summer heat
continues to take its toll on demand," CHS Hedging said in a
market note.
    Hogs in the top cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
dropped $2.44 to $73.68 per cwt, according to USDA.         
    Few cattle have traded yet this week in cash markets, CHS

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Richard Chang)
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