November 2, 2018 / 10:06 PM / 2 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cattle, hog futures lower on weaker cash markets

CHICAGO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Cattle and hog futures were mostly lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday, weighed down by spreading and weaker prices in cash markets for the animals, traders said.

Cash hog prices have declined two days in a row in the top Iowa and Minnesota market, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

There were few trades in the cash cattle market by late afternoon on Friday. Some investors were turning pessimistic that beef packers who paid higher prices for cattle last week would be willing to pay even more this week.

“Fundamentally, we need the cash support and it’s not here this week,” said one cattle futures trader who was not authorized by his firm to speak for attribution.

CME December live cattle edged 0.050 cent lower to 117.075 cents per pound. That price represented a premium to cash cattle sales last week ranging from 113 and 115 cents per pound, or $113 to $115 per cwt.

Feedlots in Texas and Kansas were offering cattle at $118 per cwt while packers were bidding around $112, with few trades occurring by late on Friday, traders said.

Cattle futures were boosted on Thursday by higher wholesale beef prices. However, beef values could soon ease as consumers turn to turkeys and hams for the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday later this month.

“The bullish sentiment is going to be reevaluated Monday morning,” the futures trader said. “Beef’s not the star here.”

Traders also were moving out of front-month positions in cattle and hogs futures, and moving into deferred months. Funds tracking Standard & Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index were expected to begin rolling next week.

CME January feeder cattle futures fell 0.850 cent to 149.750 cents per pound.

CME December lean hogs were down 0.075 cent to 58.125 cents per pound.

Reporting by Michael Hirtzer Editing by Leslie Adler

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