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LIVESTOCK-U.S. hog futures firm; cattle slips with stock sell-off

CHICAGO, April 21 (Reuters) - CME Group hog futures advanced for the second day in a row on Tuesday, with supplies remaining tight due to shutdowns at slaughterhouses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cattle futures were weaker, pressured by a sharp drop in equity markets.

“Cattle are more closely tied with the economy,” said Don Roose, president of brokerage U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Lean hog futures for June delivery added 1.85 cents to 48.1 cents per pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

CME June live cattle fell 1.025 cents to 84.075 cents per pound.

August feeder cattle futures dropped 0.75 cent to 126.9 cents per pound.

Tyson Foods said it would resume limited operations at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, on Tuesday after being idle for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said that Tuesday’s cattle kill totaled 84,000 head, about 30% below a year earlier. The hog slaughter totaled 354,000 compared to 478,000 a year ago.

“Cattle are backing up more quickly than the hogs are,” Roose added. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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