U.S. livestock: Hog futures rise to highest since late October; cattle firms

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Chicago | Reuters – U.S. hog futures rose to their highest in nearly two months on Wednesday, supported by a round of technical buying and tight pork supplies.

After the market closed on Tuesday, the U.S. government released a report that showed that domestic frozen pork belly stocks as of Nov. 30 stood at 23.111 million lbs, down from 54.416 million lbs a year earlier.

“Storage stats released yesterday again showed tight pork stocks with no rebuild since the spring,” StoneX said in research note to clients.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange February lean hogs rose 1.825 cents to 67.85 cents per pound. The contract found support at its 10-day moving average before rallying above its 20-day, 30-day, 40-day, 50-day and 100-day moving averages during the session.

The front month contract peaked at 68.125 cents, its highest since Oct. 27.

Cattle futures also received support from technical buyers and the front-month live cattle contract hit its highest since Nov. 13.

CME February live cattle futures rose 1.275 cents, settling at 114.725 cents per pound.

The contract found support at its 30-day moving average before rising above 10-day and 100-day moving averages.

January feeder cattle rose 0.55 cent to 140.45 cents per pound.

The choice boxed beef cutout fell $3.13 to $207.54 per cwt, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Select cuts dropped $1.66 to $197.93 per cwt.

A separate USDA report released after the market closed on Wednesday showed that the size of the U.S. hog herd on Dec. 1 was 99% of a year earlier, matching market forecasts.

USDA also said weekly export sales of beef totaled 13,200 tonnes in the week ended Dec. 17, down from 14,600 tonnes a week earlier. Pork export sales fell to 39,700 tonnes from 84,200 tonnes.

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