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LIVESTOCK-Lean hogs rise for seventh straight session on tight supplies

CHICAGO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures climbed to fresh highs on Tuesday in a seventh straight session of gains, lifted by strong domestic demand and tight supplies of hogs.

Broader commodities market gains added support to hogs as concerns about a Russian invasion of Ukraine hammered equities markets and fueled worries about disrupted global flows of raw materials.

Technical buying accelerated gains in lean hogs, taking all contracts to new lifetime highs and spot April futures to the highest level for a front-month contract since mid-July.

“Supplies are down more than we thought and disease in the herd continues to be rampant. Consequently, the market is moving higher to adjust,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

Pork packers have processed fewer hogs at times this year due to tight supplies or staffing shortages at plants.

Tuesday’s hog slaughter totaled an estimated 479,000 head, below the 499,000 head slaughter on the same day a year ago, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

Wholesale pork prices eased but the shorter slaughter figures were seen boosting pork prices in the future. Meanwhile, elevated beef prices may bolster demand for pork as some inflation-weary consumers switch to cheaper options like pork.

April lean hog futures jumped 2.675 cents to settle at 112.075 cents per pound, while June futures were up 2.600 cents at 121.225 cents per pound.

CME live cattle futures were firmer on Tuesday on high beef prices and as harsh weather in U.S. Plains cattle areas triggered worries about slower rates of gain at feedlots.

April live cattle rose 0.150 cent to 146.025 cents per pound. March feeder cattle fell 1.200 cents to 164.225 cents per pound, pressured by corn feed prices at eight-month highs.

Reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by Aditya Soni

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