December 6, 2017 / 8:27 PM / 10 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Lower cash, pork prices pull down CME hog futures

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hogs finished lower on Wednesday, pressured by weaker cash and
wholesale pork prices, said traders.
    The said fund liquidation further weighed on the market.
    December         hogs, which will expire on Dec. 14, ended
down 0.450 cent per pound at 63.825 cents. Most actively-traded
February         closed 1.550 cents lower at 68.950 cents, and
below the 20-day moving average of 69.360 cents.
    "Better hog numbers are still anticipated, which could
influence prices lower later this month," an analyst wrote in
his newsletter to clients.
    Based on increased hog weights, animals are now coming to
market after backing up on farms over the Thanksgiving holiday
and after a packing plant closed last week to install equipment,
said analysts and traders.          
    Packers are expected to compete less for hogs prior to
plants shutting down for the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
    Retailers are reluctant to buy large amounts of pork at a
time when ham business is nearly done for the year-end holidays
and as consumers focus on shopping for Christmas gifts, said
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) monthly export
sales data on Wednesday showed U.S. pork in October totaled
494.6 million pounds, up 17.4 percent from September and up 9.5
percent from October 2016.             

    Wednesday's wholesale beef price pullback, and expectations
for lower cash prices this week, weighed on CME live cattle
futures, said traders.
    Sell stops and technical selling hastened market losses,
they said.
    December         live cattle finished down 0.525 cent per
pound at 115.900 cents. February         ended 1.250 cents lower
at 119.275 cents, and below the 100-day moving average of
119.352 cents.
    The lack sales at Wednesday's Fed Cattle Exchange suggests 
processors may have enough livestock for near-term production, a
trader said.
    A week ago, slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S.
Plains fetched $119 to $121 per cwt. 
    Beef sales face headwinds from plentiful pork and poultry
supplies, the trader said.           
    USDA's export report showed total U.S. beef exports in
October at 260.0 million pounds, up 7 percent from the month
before and up 13 percent from a year earlier.
    CME feeder cattle futures        slid to a three-month low
for a second straight session on sell stops and lower live
cattle futures, said traders.
    January         feeder cattle closed 1.800 cents per pound
lower at 146.025 cents.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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