U.S. livestock: Hogs firm on follow-through buying, cash strength

U.S. beef export sales down on week

CME April 2021 lean hogs with Bollinger (20,2) bands. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live hog futures rose for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, hitting its highest since May 2019 on follow-through buying after rising the daily trading limit on Wednesday, traders said.

Strength in the cash market also supported hog prices but the market closed off its high on some technical selling.

Cattle futures were mixed, with live cattle easing while feeder cattle firmed to its highest since Feb. 16.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said that export sales of pork totaled 25,600 tonnes in the week ended Feb. 18, down from 33,300 tonnes the prior week.

Beef export sales fell to 8,500 tonnes from 22,900 tonnes.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange April lean hog futures rose 0.325 cent to 89.75 cents/lb. (all figures US$). The contract peaked at a new high of 90.675 before hitting resistance at the high end of its 20-day Bollinger range.

The cash pork carcass cutout value rose to a four-month high of $95.13/cwt, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed.

CME April live cattle futures dropped 0.55 cent to close at 121.675 cents/lb. The contract dropped below its 30-day moving average before finding support at its 40-day moving average.

CME April feeder cattle rose 0.325 cent to 145.075 cents/lb.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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