December 20, 2018 / 8:33 PM / a month ago

LIVESTOCK-Hog futures rise, cattle futures eased ahead of USDA reports

    By Mark Weinraub
    CHICAGO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
cattle futures edged higher while hog futures eased slightly on
Thursday as traders awaited the release of two key U.S.
government reports.
    The U.S. Agriculture Department reports, released after the
market closed, showed that the U.S. hog herd was slightly lower
than analysts were expecting, at 102 percent of a year ago.
            
    Cattle placed on feed also was 102 percent of a year
earlier, slightly above analysts' estimates for 101.8 percent.
            
    "Overall, up and down the categories, you have to call it
mildly supportive," said Don Roose, president of U.S.
Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. "Expansion continues."
    Analysts had expected higher on-feed cattle supplies and
lower placements, and a growing U.S. hog herd, according to
Reuters poll collected ahead of the data.             
            
    The most active CME February hog futures contract        
ended down 0.325 cent at 62.375 cents per pound. Deferred
contracts were up 0.100 cent to down 0.100 cent.
    CME February live cattle         fell 0.1 cent and settled
at 122.350 cents per pound. Deferred contracts were steady to up
0.300 cent.
    CME January feeder cattle futures         ended up 1.225
cents at 147.425 cents while March futures         were 1.175
cents higher at 145.450 cents.

 (Reporting by Mark Weinraub
Editing by James Dalgleish)
  
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