U.S. livestock: Hog futures gain on export optimism

CME cattle down ahead of USDA report

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures markets climbed on Tuesday on optimism over China’s continued purchases of U.S. grains, traders said.

Exporters sold 266,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and 264,000 tonnes to unknown destinations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Tuesday, marking the 13th consecutive business day of sales to China.

“As long as you’re seeing China hanging around and popping up daily, the thinking is, it’s only a matter of time before they pick up more of the pork purchases,” said Dax Wedemeyer, analyst at U.S. Commodities.

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CME October lean hog futures settled 2.725 cents higher to end at 68.325 cents/lb. and most-active December hogs ended up 2.55 cents at 64.1 cents/lb. (all figures US$).

Chicago feeder and live cattle futures fell ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is expected to show another month of higher placements.

“The market is seeing heavy weights and will need to see demand pick up,” said Wedemeyer.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange October live cattle futures settled down 0.225 cent at 106.475 cents/lb. and December dropped 0.425 cents to end at 110.175 cents.

CME October feeder cattle settled down 1.625 cents at 140.625 cents/lb., and most-active November feeder cattle ended down 1.55 cents at 141.175 cents/lb.

Packer beef margins were at $298.20 per head, down from a week earlier but still at record levels.

Meanwhile, boxed beef prices were mixed, with choice cut values dropping 92 cents to $215.30/cwt, while select cuts gained 80 cents to $206.62/cwt.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago.

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