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LIVESTOCK-U.S. lean hogs drop on weaker pork, falling prices in China

CHICAGO, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. lean hog futures fell sharply on Monday, continuing a retreat from multi-year highs set earlier this month as cash pork prices dropped and worries increased about Chinese import demand for U.S. pork.

Technical selling and profit-taking have sped the multi-session decline after the actively traded Chicago Mercantile Exchange August lean hog contract appeared to peak on June 7.

U.S. pork export sales have also slowed somewhat in recent weeks, including to major importer China, where live hog prices are down 65% so far this year amid rising domestic production and a surge in pork import arrivals.

“It’s pretty hard for our hog market to keep putting in new highs when the Chinese hogs keep putting in new lows. That’s the second-biggest buyer of our pork in the world,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The wholesale U.S. pork carcass cutout price is down more than 10% over the past two weeks, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. PRK-MAN-CARCS

CME July hogs settled down 1.625 cents at 107.050 cents per pound and actively traded August hogs ended down the 3.000-cent daily limit at 103.675 cents, triggering an expanded 4.5-cent limit for trading on Tuesday.

CME live cattle futures weakened on Monday on slowing beef demand and lower cash beef prices. Feeder cattle futures, however, edged higher as corn prices eased.

The USDA quoted the choice boxed beef cutout value down $2.08 on Monday at $321.20 per cwt and the select cutout down $2.15 at $281.46 per cwt. BEEF-US-CHBEEF-US-SE

August live cattle futures settled 0.525 cent lower at 121.025 cents per pound. CME August feeder cattle ended up 0.075 cent at 155.100 cents per pound.

Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago Editing by Matthew Lewis

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