July 5, 2018 / 10:23 PM / 8 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle, hog futures about flat in technical trading

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, July 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
cattle and hog futures were little changed on Thursday in
technically driven trade amid a lack of fresh fundamental news
following a pause in trading on Wednesday's U.S. Independence
Day holiday.
    Most active live cattle futures         finished narrowly
mixed as traders awaited deals in U.S. Plains cash cattle
markets. A weekly online cash cattle auction, usually held on
Wednesdays, was postponed until next week, according to an
employee of the Fed Cattle Exchange.
    CME August live cattle        edged 0.075 cent lower to
106.375 cents per pound and October live cattle        was up
0.025 cent to 110.125 cents.
    CME August feeder cattle        touched a roughly four-month
high, before settling 0.225 cent lower to 152.575 cents per
pound as some traders took profits after four straight sessions
of higher prices.
    CME August lean hogs        similarly were about flat,
finishing up 0.050 cent at 76.050 cents per pound.
    The Independence Day holiday typically is a boon for retail
sales of beef, pork and poultry as consumers cook meat on
outdoor grills. Livestock traders were looking for clues as to
how strong demand was over the holiday.
    Wholesale pork prices were up 49 cents to $86.29 per cwt,
boosted in part by higher prices for pork bellies that climbed
$1.73 to $166.68 per cwt on Thursday, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.         
    Prices for many pork cuts have declined in recent days but
pork bellies used to make bacon were the highest in nearly a
    "The only thing holding up the pork cutout is the bellies,"
said independent livestock trader Dan Norcini.
    Choice-grade wholesale beef fell $1.83 to $208.43 per cwt,
according to USDA.
    China on Friday was expected to impose tariffs on $50
billion worth of American goods including beef and pork but the
punitive measures on imports have been anticipated for weeks.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)
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