Markets News

LIVESTOCK-CME cattle futures end higher as corn prices sag; hogs mixed

CHICAGO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures settled mostly higher on Thursday as lower grain prices propped up feeder cattle futures, signaling cheaper feed costs, traders said.

Benchmark CME October live cattle futures settled up 0.225 cent at 142.800 cents per lb, a day after dipping to a four-week low.

CME October feeder cattle rose 0.875 cent to end at 184.350 cents per lb, as corn futures closed lower for a third straight session.

But rallies in cattle were limited by softening beef prices and mounting worries about a global economic slowdown that could curb demand for meat.

In the U.S. wholesale beef market, choice cuts fell 27 cents to $258.07 per hundredweight (cwt), the lowest since mid-May, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Select cuts fell $1.15 to $236.59 per cwt.

Hog futures closed mixed, with the most-active CME October lean hogs rising 0.425 cent to 91.950 cents per lb while December hogs fell 0.100 cent to close at 83.775 cents per lb.

The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell to $107.62 per cwt, down $1.74 from a day earlier and its lowest since June 10.

Wholesale pork prices retreated, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reporting pork carcass value at $101.86 per cwt on Thursday afternoon, down $1.33 from Wednesday.

The USDA weekly export sales report, normally released on Thursdays, was delayed until at least Sept. 15 due to problems with the launch of a new reporting system. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)