February 13, 2018 / 11:09 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle end mixed, lean hogs mostly lower

    By Karl Plume
    CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures          ended mixed on Tuesday, with nearby
contracts weighed down by expectations for increased supplies of
market-ready cattle beginning next month.
    Declines were limited by concerns that harsh winter weather
last week in northern areas of the U.S. Plains and western
Midwest slowed cattle weight gains, which could force packers in
the region to pay higher prices for fewer market-ready cattle in
the near term.
    "The numbers of slaughter-ready animals in the north will be
tighter this week and next. Iowa's snowstorm last week has taken
the top off and definitely affected weights," said Jeff French,
a broker with Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago.
    "But from mid-March, we're going to be running into plenty
of slaughter-ready cattle. It's going to be tough to work
through these numbers," he said.
    Investors waited on packer bids to develop following trades
last week in the southern Plains at $125 to $126 per cwt. The
tighter supplies in the north could have packers paying higher
prices for cattle than in the south, where cattle weight gains
have been strong.
    CME February         live cattle closed down 0.300 cent per
pound at 126.825 cents. April         ended 0.225 cent lower at
124.775 cents and June         finished down 0.075 cent at
116.650 cents. The August through February 2019 contracts closed
    Feeder cattle futures were also mixed, with nearby contracts
anchored by profit-taking following strong gains the previous
    March feeders         ended down 0.400 cent per pound at
147.275 cents while April futures         settled 0.025 cent
lower at 149.500 cents.
    Lean hog futures were mostly lower in a profit-taking
setback following a 2-percent rally on Monday, pressured by
ample supplies of hogs and pork.
    February futures        , which expire on Friday, shrugged
off the weakness and ended up 0.275 cent at 73.350 cents. The
actively-traded April contract         settled down 1.100 cents
per pound at 69.425 cents.

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