October 11, 2018 / 8:12 PM / 2 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures rise as U.S. cuts beef production estimate

CHICAGO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. cattle futures rose on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture trimmed its forecast for how much beef the nation will produce this year.

In a monthly supply and demand report, the USDA pegged 2018 beef output at 26.9 billion pounds, down 0.6 percent from its September estimate. The agency cited lower expectations for cattle slaughtering in the fourth quarter and lighter carcass weights.

“USDA cut their beef production forecast by 150 million pounds for 2018, suggesting a slightly firmer tone,” said Alan Brugler, president of U.S. commodity firm Brugler Marketing & Management.

Most-active CME December live cattle rose 0.300 cent to 116.775 cents per pound.

CME November feeder cattle advanced 0.575 cent to 156.750 cents per pound.

Fed cattle in Texas and Kansas traded at $111 per hundredweight in the cash market, which was about steady with the last two weeks, according to traders.

In lean hog futures, contracts ended mostly lower, extending recent losses.

Thinly traded October hogs edged up 0.200 cent to 68.675 cents per pound. CME December hogs, the most active contract, dropped 1.525 cent to settle at 54.425 cents per pound.

The USDA lowered its forecast for pork production by 0.9 percent from last month to 26.425 billion pounds.

The agency also reduced its estimates for U.S. corn and soy production in the report. Farmers are in the process of bringing the crops in from the fields.

The cut means there is less grain than previously expected available for animal feed, which may push some livestock producers to make deals to buy grain, said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based broker U.S. Commodities.

“The end user now is going to be more anxious,” Roose said. “The livestock guys are going to want to get covered in the upfront months.”

Still, the U.S. soybean crop was projected as the biggest ever, while corn harvest was pegged as the second-biggest on record. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub Editing by Leslie Adler)

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