U.S. livestock: Cattle futures gain on technical buying; hogs lower

Chicago | Reuters – U.S. cattle futures were narrowly higher on Thursday, buoyed by spreading and technical buying despite a downturn in wholesale beef prices, traders and analysts said.

Live cattle futures climbed for the third straight session on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as the market continued to claw back from steep losses on Monday. CME December finished 0.450 cent higher at 116.550 cents per pound and February up 0.275 to 119.875 cents.

Feeder cattle futures bounced after falling earlier on Thursday to a two-month low, with the January contract rising 0.450 cent to 146.275 cents.

CHS Hedging analyst Steve Wagner expectations that cash cattle in the U.S. Plains could fetch about $116 to $117 per cwt – prices that were steady to higher from last week’s sales – provided some support to futures.

“It was a pleasant close – it tells me the (managed) money wasn’t able to continue the pressure,” Wagner said.

Speculative investors last week were liquidating a portion of their net long in live cattle futures, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Both cattle and hogs can come under seasonal pressure in November as demand for beef and pork declines slightly, when many U.S. consumers buy turkeys ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday on the third Thursday of November.

Wholesale beef and pork each were lower, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

CME December hogs were up 0.100 cent to 55.625 cents per pound but the most-active February contract fell 1.100 cents to 60.125 cents per pound.

Livestock markets remained vulnerable to wild swings on the second day of the five-day calendar roll for investment funds tracking the Standard & Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index , in which traders exit front-month positions and roll into deferred contracts.


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