U.S. livestock: Cattle rebound after sharp drop

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures rose on Friday, with strength in the cash market underpinning a technical rebound from Thursday’s sharp decline, traders said.

“We had a break that was a surprisingly quick break from the top,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities. “Today we brought back the technical buying because of where the fundamentals are sitting.”

February live cattle finished 2.125 cents/lb. higher at 124.6 cents (all figures US$). April ended up 2.025 cents at 124.625 cents.

After futures closed on Friday slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle traded at $126/cwt in Kansas, up $3 from a week ago. Remaining cash cattle bids in the U.S. Plains were at $123 versus up to $127 asking prices.

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Live cattle futures have risen in nine out of the last 11 sessions, gaining six per cent during the rally — partly driven by the slumping dollar, which makes U.S. goods more attractive to foreign buyers.

Some investors may view Friday afternoon’s U.S. Department of Agriculture monthly Cattle-On-Feed report mildly bearish for futures on Monday.

The report unexpectedly showed more cattle entered feedlots last month than a year earlier.

CME feeder cattle closed sharply higher, led by short-covering, technical buying and live cattle futures’ rebound.

March feeders ended 2.8 cents higher at 146.725 cents.

Weaker hog futures

CME lean hogs settled weaker for a second straight day as plentiful supplies further weighed on cash prices.

February lean hog futures were down 0.2 cent at 72.275 cents/lb. Most-active April hogs were 0.025 cent lower at 73.8.

Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub.

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