U.S. livestock: Hog futures drop on end-of-month profit taking

Live cattle book biggest one-day drop since November

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. hog futures dropped 2.9 per cent on Friday, with traders locking in profits from the rally on the last session of February.

The loss, which pulled the market from the nearly two-year high hit on Thursday, was the biggest for hogs in percentage terms since Nov. 19. It snapped a streak of four straight daily gains.

Live cattle futures also posted their biggest daily decline since November and hit their lowest since Jan. 21.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange April lean hog futures dropped 2.6 cents to 87.15 cents/lb. (all figures US$).

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The cash pork carcass cutout value fell to $93.84, off its four-month high of $95.13/cwt hit on Thursday, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed.

Traders said expectations for demand from China remained strong.

China’s soymeal futures slid nearly five per cent in their sharpest decline in eight years on Friday, as investors took profits and new African swine fever outbreaks stirred concerns over demand.

CME April live cattle futures dropped 1.675 cents to close at 121 cents/lb. The contract dropped below its 40-day and 50-day moving averages.

CME April feeder cattle dropped 2.5 cents to 142.575 cents/lb.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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