June 18, 2018 / 8:14 PM / 3 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Hogs jump on packer demand, gains in cash prices

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures        
climbed as much as 2.3 percent on Monday in a bull-spreading
rally amid rising cash hog prices and strong demand from pork
packers, traders and analysts said.
    Cattle futures also were mostly higher at the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange, boosted by chart-based buying and
positioning ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture cattle
report due on Friday.
    Front-month July lean hogs        notched the biggest gains,
settling up 2.000 cents at 83.725 cents per pound. The contract
reached the highest levels since Feb. 26 while hogs on a
continuous chart        were the highest since Aug. 11. 
    Most-active August hogs        were up 1.175 cents to 79.425
cents per pound.
    Hog prices generally rise in the summer as high temperatures
slow the rate of weight gain in the animals, effectively
reducing supplies. The CME Group's index of the cash hog market
       is also the highest since August.
    "Everyone is looking at the cash (hogs). All you have to do
is look at the Iowa and Minnesota to see how fast it's been
gaining," Steiner Consulting analyst Altin Kalo said of the top
U.S. cash hog market.
    USDA did not report any prices for midday trades in the Iowa
cash hog market.         
    USDA on Friday is due to release a monthly Cattle on Feed
report that will show how many steers and heifers moved, or were
placed, into feedlots for fattening last month. The data could
show placements on feed declined in May.
    Expectations for a drop in placements, coupled with
declining prices for corn      , helped lift feeder cattle
futures        . Lower prices for corn, the most popular cattle
feed, can reduce costs for ranchers, prompting them to buy more
animals.
    Lingering worries about trade spats with U.S. trade partners
including China and Mexico also continued to cloud both
livestock and meat markets, the analysts said.
    CME August feeder cattle        finished up 1.000 cent to
148.975 cents per pound, highest since May. 31.
    More actively traded CME August live cattle        were up
0.400 cent to 105.175 cents per pound.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)
  
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