March 19, 2018 / 11:38 PM / 6 months ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle hit 2-month low; lean hog futures tumble

CHICAGO, March 19 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures fell on Monday for a third straight session, pressured by fund-driven long liquidation and expectations of rising supplies ahead based on USDA’s most recent monthly cattle report, traders said.

Declines on Wall Street added to bearish sentiment. The S&P and Nasdaq suffered their worst day in just over five weeks, as concerns over increased regulation for large tech companies was spearheaded by a plunge in Facebook shares.

Weak equity markets can pressure livestock markets as traders worry about a potential decline in consumer demand for pricey cuts of beef.

“It’s a red-letter day, with stocks sharply lower and everything else lower as far as meats and grains,” one livestock trader said.

April live cattle closed 1.025 cents per pound lower at 120.225 cents, after dipping to 120.125, its lowest level since Jan. 17. June ended 1.600 cents lower at 110.150.

The declines in live cattle futures losses pressured CME feeder cattle futures as well. April feeders ended down 2 cents per pound at 138.200 cents.

APRIL HOGS HIT CONTRACT LOW

CME April lean hogs tumbled to a life-of-contract low, pressured by the slumping equity markets, spillover pressure from cattle and lackluster pork demand in the midst of Lent, traders said.

Some traders also noted a seasonal uptick in hog weights, which pumps more pork into the retail pipeline.

April hogs closed down 2.300 cents per pound at 63.150 cents, after posting a contract low at 62.975. May finished down 2.125 cents per pound at 70.625 cents.

Reporting by Julie Ingwersen and Theopolis Waters Editing by Leslie Adler

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