Cattle Futures Rise on Cheaper Feed Costs

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cattle futures bounced on Tuesday as falling grain prices cut feed costs for producers.

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August-dated contracts for feeder cattle, which need to be fattened before slaughter, rose 1.8% to $1.4725 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A correction in corn prices on Tuesday, which have recently rallied over concerns about dry weather, helped reduce the cost of feeding the herds.

CME August live cattle futures also rose, climbing 0.9% to $1.14875 a pound. Analysts said cattle prices were finding some footing after around a month of trending lower.

"We are showing signs that the long downturn may be ending for cattle," said Bill Frejlich of the Price Futures Group in Chicago, in a note to clients, "while the three month long rise for hogs may be nearing an end."

Hog futures were mixed, with front-month contracts gaining while later-months fell. CME August lean hogs rose 0.3% to 82.25 a pound.

Cash market hogs and pork belly prices were both higher on Monday, helping to spur buying in futures, though they were mixed as of midday Tuesday. That helped damp longer-term bets.

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Traders will be looking to Wednesday's Fed Cattle Exchange auction for clues about the week's cash cattle market trend. Over 2,600 head are listed, up from around 2,100 the previous week.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 11, 2017 14:55 ET (18:55 GMT)