July 19, 2018 / 7:45 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-CME cattle futures mixed in pre-report positioning

    By Mark Weinraub
    CHICAGO, July 19 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures were
mixed on Thursday, with the nearby contract easing while
deferred months firmed slightly on positioning ahead of two big
U.S. Department of Agriculture reports due Friday, traders said.
    Some investors were unwinding bull spreads placed during the
cattle market's rally to its highest in more than two weeks on
    Firmer wholesale beef prices underpinned the cattle futures
    Cash cattle sold for $112 per cwt at Wednesday's Fed Cattle
Exchange, up about $1 from a week earlier. CME feeder cattle
futures were slightly higher, following the strength in the cash
    U.S. lean hog futures         closed mostly higher,
rebounding from three straight days of gains that pushed the
market to contract lows on a round of bargain buying.
    Most active CME October hogs        settled up 0.300 cent at
52.225 cents per pound while August hogs        rose 0.050 cent
to 67.250 cents.
    CME August live cattle        closed Thursday down 0.050
cent at 108.900 cents per pound. CME October live cattle       
was unchanged at 110.650 cents. 
    CME August feeder cattle futures         settled unchanged
at 154.450 cents per pound and September feeders         rose
0.125 cents to 154.775 cents.
    The USDA will release its monthly Cattle on Feed report and
its semiannual cattle inventory report on Friday afternoon.
Analysts were expecting the U.S. cattle herd to be up 0.7
percent from a year ago. Cattle on feed as of July 1 were
expected to be 104 percent of last year's total.             

 (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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