U.S. livestock: Cattle futures rally

Cold U.S. weather in focus

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. cattle futures rallied on Friday, supported by cold weather in the United States that was making it hard to put weight on animals.

“Weather remains front and center for cattle producers, bitter cold temps will be with us through the weekend and also some sizable snow totals in the southeast corner of cattle feeding country,” brokerage StoneX said in a note to clients.

Hog futures also were strong, making new contract highs across the board on a strong demand outlook.

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Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) February hogs dipped 0.025 cent to close at 74 cents/lb. in light volume trade (all figures US$). The most-active April hogs contract rose 0.95 cent higher at 85.2 cents/lb.

The cash pork carcass cutout value fell 49 cents to $88.38/cwt, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed.

The average pork packer margin rose $6.25, to $36.70 per head, according to livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com.

Spot CME February live cattle rose 1.875 cents to 117.2 cents/lb., while most-active April futures jumped 2.05 cents to 125.175 cents/lb.

March feeder cattle rose 1.7 cents to close at 140.85 cents/lb.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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