U.S. livestock: Strong pork prices boost hogs more than two per cent


Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures closed up over two per cent on Tuesday, lifted by the bounce in wholesale pork values and cash price optimism, traders said.

October closed 2.7 cents per pound higher at 105.775 cents, and December up 2.2 cents at 98.25 cents (all figures US$).

The morning’s wholesale pork price jumped $1.54 per hundredweight (cwt) from Monday to $105.08, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Separate USDA data showed the morning’s average slaughter-ready, or cash, hog price in the eastern Midwest region up 46 cents/cwt from Monday to $94.02.

Fewer hogs are available now after farmers rushed them to market ahead of time to beat falling prices before Labour Day.

While some grocers are replacing meat sold over the three-day holiday weekend, others may be buying product to feature during National Pork Month in October, a trader said.

October led advances after punching through the 100-day moving average of 105.53 cents, which triggered fund buying.

A few speculators bought deferred hog contracts in the belief that the virus that killed millions of pigs since last year will have the greatest impact on production beginning this fall.

Others were skittish about buying back months given the introduction of two pig virus vaccines and cheaper feed, which might prompt producers to expand their herds.

Higher live cattle futures

CME live cattle finished higher, paring Monday’s losses and settling above board four out of the last five sessions, helped by short-covering and futures’ discounts to last week’s cash returns, traders said.

October closed at 159.675 cents/lb., 1.15 cents higher. December finished up 1.425 cents at 162.275 cents and hit a new contract high of 162.85 cents.

Last week, cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at mostly $163/cwt.

This week, bullish traders look for steady or better cash returns after packers spent more for supplies during the holiday-shortened workweek.

Market bears contend that processors bought fewer animals last week which increased the number of cattle available for sale this week.

Funds trading in CME’s live cattle and hog markets at times shifted October long positions into deferred contracts in a procedure known as the “roll” by followers of the Standard + Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (S+PGSCI).

Tuesday was the second of five days for the S+PGSCI roll process.

CME feeder cattle notched a new high for a forth day in a row, led by soft corn prices and live cattle futures buying.

Traders also cited $8-$12/cwt higher prices for feeder cattle in local markets.

September closed 1.475 cents/lb. higher at 228.625 cents, and October 1.825 cents higher at 227.75 cents.

— Theopolis Waters reports on livestock futures markets for Reuters from Chicago.

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