August 8, 2018 / 9:35 PM / in 9 months

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures fall to new contract lows on heavy supplies

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures         tumbled about 3 percent to fresh
life-of-contract lows on Wednesday as cash hog and pork prices
extended declines amid abundant supplies and worries of sagging
demand, traders said.
    Most active October lean hog futures        fell 1.575 cents
to 48.400 cents per pound while front-month August hogs       
sank 1.000 cent to 54.800. Hogs on a continuous chart       
were trading at their lowest in four months.
    In the top cash hog market of Iowa and southern Minnesota,
prices plummeted by $2.79 to $47.40 per cwt while wholesale pork
values fell $1.08 to $70.97 per cwt, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.                  
    With supplies of pork, beef and chicken all ample in the
United States, prices for pork have declined in a move necessary
to stimulate buying at grocery stores and restaurants.
    "The fundamental reason continues to be the same thing: too
much product for the demand," Don Roose, president of U.S.
Commodities, said of the pork and hog market.
    Worries of lost export sales of U.S. pork to top buyer
Mexico has hung over the market after Mexico imposed tariffs on
the meat. China, another major buyer, also put tariffs on U.S.
pork imports, making domestic sales and exports to other
destinations increasingly vital.
    "We're racing to the bottom to see if we can pick up some
(pork) demand from beef and poultry," Roose added.
    Cattle futures were mostly higher, bolstered by
short-covering and profit-taking after two straight sessions of
declines. Live cattle shrugged off earlier losses to turn higher
as traders awaited deals in cash cattle markets.
    CME October live cattle futures        were up 0.075 cent to
111.000 cents per pound. CME September feeder cattle        were
up 1.025 cents at 149.750 cents per pound, rebounding from an
earlier roughly one-month low of 147.200 cents.
    Zero animals were sold out of about 460 cattle offered at
the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange online auction, according to the
auction website.
    Choice-grade wholesale beef was up 24 cents to $205.73 per
cwt, according to USDA.           

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)
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