November 27, 2018 / 11:38 PM / 21 days ago

LIVESTOCK-Lean hog futures drift lower on weak cash values

    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures        
closed mostly lower on Tuesday, with the benchmark February
contract        falling for the fourth session out of the last
five after hitting a contract high last week.
    "The cash market continues to struggle. It's a battle
between reality and the ASF (African swine fever) headlines,"
said Craig VanDyke, analyst with Top Third Ag Marketing.
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange February lean hog futures
        settled down 0.500 cent at 65.050 cents per pound,
although the spot December contract        ended up 0.475 cent
at 57.875 cents.
    Lean hog futures have drawn support at times from ideas that
African swine fever in China's huge hog herd might boost demand
for U.S. pork. The disease has spread through China, with more
than 70 cases reported across farms since early August.
            
    "Then we remember where the (U.S.) cash (market) is at, what
product is doing, and how our supply situation sits, without any
material evidence of China actually buying our stuff," VanDyke
said.
    Prices have declined five days in a row in the closely
watched Iowa and southern Minnesota cash hog market, U.S.
Department of Agriculture data showed.         
    CME live cattle futures closed modestly lower Tuesday and
feeder cattle futures followed the weak trend.
    CME February live cattle futures         settled down 0.050
cent at 120.600 cents per pound, staying inside the previous
day's trading range. 
    January feeder cattle         ended down 0.725 cent at
148.425 cents.

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen
Editing by Tom Brown)
  
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