U.S. livestock: Hogs jump in technical rebound

(Gloria Solano-Aguilar photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures were mostly higher on Friday, rebounding from earlier losses on technical buying and short-covering following the midday expiration of the August contract, traders and analysts said.

Gains in hog futures came after prices neared last week’s roughly four-month lows, and hogs could still face more selling pressure amid expectations of a seasonal buildup in hog supplies after the Labour Day holiday in early September.

“There’s nothing bullish going on in hogs as far as I’m concerned,” Archer Financial Services broker Dennis Smith said. “When the August (contract) went off, it brought some buying into the October.”

CME October hogs, the most active contract, settled 1.575 cents higher at 60 cents/lb., below Thursday’s session high of 61.45 cents but the highest settlement since Aug. 2 (all figures US$).

For the week, October hogs rose nearly three per cent, snapping a streak of five straight weekly losses in their best weekly performance since June.

The August contract expired 0.05 cent lower at 67.15 cents/lb., with its large premium over October futures reflecting expectations for bigger supplies ahead.

Live and feeder cattle futures each ended roughly flat as investors waited for deals to develop in cash cattle markets.

CME October live cattle eased 0.025 cent to 114.525 cents/lb., capping a weekly decline of roughly 0.9 per cent.

CME September feeder cattle were up 0.575 cent at 147.55 cents/lb., notching a weekly gain of 0.2 per cent.

Beef packers late on Friday were said to be raising bids for slaughter-weight cattle in the southern U.S. Plains to $119/cwt, compared to trade last week between $118 and $120. Earlier talk that packers were lowering their bids weighed on prices while the better cash bids were seen as supportive for futures.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago.

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