July 3, 2018 / 9:45 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle, hog futures gain on pre-holiday technical buying

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
livestock futures were mostly higher on Tuesday, with some hog
and cattle contracts hitting multi-month peaks on technical
buying ahead of Wednesday's U.S. Independence Day holiday,
traders and analysts said.
    CME July lean hog futures        climbed to their highest
since Feb. 26, settling up 0.525 cent to 83.725 cents per pound,
while most active August hogs        were up 1.625 cents to
    Some investors were exiting positions ahead of the holiday
on Wednesday. China on Friday also will impose 25 percent
tariffs on $50 billion worth of American goods including pork
and soybeans.             
    "There's a lot of risk in these markets and a lot of traders
who didn't want to have anything to do with that for the rest of
the week," Zaner Ag Hedge analyst Ted Seifried said.
    "Demand (for hogs and cattle) up front is good. We're
worried, longer term, that there's a lot of animals and demand
won't be as good," Seifried added.
    Hog prices were buoyed by higher cash hog prices and strong
demand from pork packers. Hogs in the top physical market in
Iowa and southern Minnesota were 52 cents higher at $79.07 per
cwt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An
estimated 463,000 hogs were slaughtered, matching Monday's kill
that was the largest in more than a month.                    
    CME August live cattle        settled down 0.450 cent to
106.450 cents per pound while all other deferred contracts were
    CME August feeder cattle        were up 0.875 cent to
152.800 cents per pound. The contract earlier reached 153.250
cents, highest since March 6.
    CME livestock futures trading will resume on Thursday.
    The Independence Day holiday is one of the most popular days
for outdoor grilling in the United States and traders will be
watching wholesale meat prices for clues on how much beef and
pork was sold.
    Choice-graded boxed beef on Wednesday was down $1.62 to
$210.26 per cwt and wholesale pork was down 85 cents to $85.80
per cwt, according to USDA.                    

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)
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