February 12, 2018 / 11:32 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Lean hogs rally on short-covering, bargain buying

    By Karl Plume
    CHICAGO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog futures rallied more than 2 percent on Monday in a
short-covering and bargain-buying rebound from steep declines
last week and as cash pork prices rose.
    The actively-traded Chicago Mercantile Exchange April
contract         touched a 4-1/2 month low early in the trading
session but recovered to finish 1.675 cents per pound higher at
70.525 cents, the contract's strongest gain in nearly a month.
    February futures         were the exception to the market's
overall strength. The contract ended down 0.100 cent at 73.075
cents as traders rolled positions to deferred months and eyed
the CME lean hog index ahead of the cash-settled contract's
expiration on Friday.           
    "Today was sort of a correction from the big selloff we had
last week. Cash markets are hanging in there and the cutout was
up pretty strong today, putting back on what came off last
week," said Tom Cawthorne, director of commercial agriculture
with Hehmeyer Trading + Investments.
    The wholesale carcass pork cutout price jumped by $2.27 on
Monday after shedding $2.48 on Friday.         
    CME live cattle futures also advanced, lifted by fund buying
and in response to stronger-than-anticipated cash cattle prices
late last week.
    February         live cattle closed up 0.600 cent per pound
at 127.125 cents. April         ended 1.375 cents higher at
125.000 cents and June         finished up 1.300 cents at
116.725 cents, both rebounding from five straight sessions of
    Cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at $125 to $126 per
cwt late on Friday, steady with the previous week and about $1
per cwt above early-week expectations.
    CME feeder cattle futures followed live cattle contracts
higher, propelled by technical buying.
    The March contract         ended up 1.475 cents per pound at
147.675 cents while April futures         settled up 1.775 cents
at 149.525 cents.

 (Reporting by Karl Plume, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
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