October 25, 2017 / 7:24 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-CME hogs rise on firmer cash, wholesale pork prices

    * Live cattle futures close weaker
    * Feeder cattle ends mostly higher

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures closed higher on      Wednesday, helped by modest
cash and wholesale pork price gains, said traders.
    Investors unwound some of Tuesday's long CME live cattle
short lean hog spreads that, along with buy stops and
speculative buying, sent some deferred hog contracts to new
    December         hogs finished up 0.450 cent per pound to 
64.475 cents. February         ended 0.950 cent higher at 69.600
cents, and spiked to a fresh contract high of 69.775 cents.
    Packers paid slightly more for slaughter-ready or cash hogs,
although not as much as they had in recent weeks, to keep pace
with their still profitable but slipping margins, traders and
analysts said.         ]       
    While talk persists that cash prices are about to top out,
some farmers are still harvesting corn and soybeans rather than
moving hogs which may be underpinning cash prices, they said.
    Wednesday's U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly hog weight
data suggests farmers are moving animals to market in a timely
fashion, another supportive cash price feature.           
    Market participants are monitoring pork demand for signs of
retailers switching to featuring beef next month as the end of
October Pork approaches.
    Nearby CME live cattle futures closed lower, weakened by
profit-taking and caution before cash prices later this week,
said traders.
    Some investors sold October and December futures and at the
same time bought deferred contracts, sending them to new highs.
    October         live cattle, which will expire on Oct. 31, 
finished 0.600 cent per pound lower at 113.025 cents. Most
actively traded December         closed down 0.450 cent to
119.075 cents.
    The lack of trades at Wednesday morning's Fed Cattle
Exchange pulled futures from session highs.
    However, the October contract is pricing in potential $112
to $113 per cwt sales of cash cattle in the U.S. Plains by
Friday, said traders and analysts.
    Historically high packer profits and fewer cattle for sale
than last week should support cash prices, they added.        
    But future's weakness and Wednesday morning's mixed
wholesale beef values tempered early-week cash price enthusiasm.
    CME feeder cattle futures closed mostly higher on buy stops.
And some investors purchased deferred months and simultaneously
sold October futures ahead of its expiration on Thursday. 
    October         ended down 0.275 cent per pound to 154.850
cents. Most actively-traded November         closed up 0.050
cent to 156.175 cents, and January         ended 0.600 cent
higher at 155.600 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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