CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) lean hog futures closed lower on Wednesday on technical selling including profit-taking and long liquidation ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday, along with bearish supply fundamentals, traders said.
CME’s benchmark August lean hogs contract ended down 0.600 cent at 78.375 cents per pound, turning lower after rising to 80.850 cents, its highest since June 20. Front-month July fell 0.175 cent to settle at 73.550 cents in an abbreviated trading session.
The August hog contract was still on track to post its first higher weekly close since mid-May, buoyed by hopes that the resumption of U.S.-China trade talks might spur fresh export sales of U.S. pork, as the Asian country struggles to contain an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in its hog herd.
Yet ample hog supplies continue to hang over the market, limiting rallies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week estimated the U.S. June 1 hog and pig herd at 75.5 million head, the highest June 1 inventory since estimates began in 1964.
“ASF will return to the headlines, but the hog industry is currently battling over-production in the short run,” INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman said in a client note.
CME live cattle futures closed higher on Wednesday, with most-active August up 1.350 cents at 105.450 cents per pound and October up 0.950 cent at 106.300 cents.
But CME feeder cattle futures fell as feed grain prices rallied. August feeders settled down 1.800 cents at 136.575 cents per pound, halting a three-session climb.
“Feeders were probably too strong yesterday - a little out of line,” said Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing & Management.
U.S. markets including CME Group livestock futures will be closed on Thursday in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Trade resumes Friday. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)