January 4, 2018 / 2:08 AM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-CME hogs turn up on cash, wholesale pork prices

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hogs finished higher on Wednesday after stronger cash and
wholesale pork prices pared some of Tuesday's losses, said
    Funds periodically sold, or "rolled," lead-month positions
into deferred months ahead of similar moves early next week.
    Monday will be the first of five days that funds in CME's
livestock markets, which track the Standard & Poor's Goldman
Sachs Commodity Index          , roll February long positions
primarily into the April and June contracts.
    February         hogs settled up 0.325 cent per pound at
71.050 cents. April         ended 0.575 cent higher at 75.425
    Packers competed for hogs in preparation for big post-New
Year's holiday Saturday slaughter, said analysts and traders.
Farmers are reluctant to open doors to swine buildings to retain
heat as Arctic air settles across most of the Midwest, they
    Some grocers are restocking meat cases after determining how
much product moved over the holiday, they added.         
    The preliminary "roll" by funds weighed on CME February live
cattle futures, but lifted remaining trading months that also
drew support from buy stops, said traders.
    The prospect that packers will pay more for cattle than last
week minimized February's decline.           
    February         live cattle finished down 0.400 cent per
pound at 122.950 cents. April         ended up 0.275 cent at
124.375 cents, and June         closed up 0.175 cent at 115.350
    Feedlots in Texas and Kansas priced slaughter-ready, or
cash, cattle at $126 to $127 per cwt with no word from packers
bid-wise. Last week cash cattle in the U.S. Plains brought
mostly $123.
    The nearly 400 animals for sale at Wednesday's Fed Cattle
Exchange were not purchased.
    Tight cattle supplies in parts of the Plains and the run up
in wholesale beef prices, partly due to plunging temperatures,
bode well for cash prices this week, said analysts and traders.
    Cold weather typically slows down weight gains in cattle and
makes it difficult to transport animals and meat in some areas,
especially in the eastern part of the United States, said
Livestock Marketing Information Center director Jim Robb.
    "Some of the rally in the wholesale beef markets is a bit
tied to the disruption caused by weather in that segment too,"
he said.
    Technical pressure and profit-taking undercut CME feeder
cattle contracts.
    January         feeder cattle closed down 0.150 cent per
pound to 149.375 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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