Livestock Futures Pop After Sluggish Start to Week

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Livestock futures bounced, reversing course after starting the week lower.

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Most-active October live cattle futures rose 2.3% to $1.0905 a pound, nearing the top of their daily trading band late in Tuesday's session.

Analysts said the cattle futures market was oversold after sharp losses last week, creating room for a rebound. Alan Palmer, a senior strategist at Walsh Trading in Chicago, said prices may be bottoming.

Growing supplies are nevertheless weighing on the rest of the cattle market, with cash and beef prices all trending lower. Last week's cattle slaughter, an indication of market-ready supply, rose to 641,000 head, a multimonth high, while beef production also swelled.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that a little under 5,000 head of cattle traded on Monday in the Western Corn Belt for an average of $1.10 a pound live and $1.76 a pound dressed. That was sharply lower from last week, when sales averaged $1.15 a pound live and $1.84 a pound dressed.

More supply and lower prices were likely to continue pressuring cattle futures in the near-term despite Tuesday's pop, analysts said.

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Hog futures rose on Tuesday, with CME October lean hog contracts 2% higher at 70.525 cents a pound.

Cash hog and pork prices were also in a downtrend, though both are at a premium to futures. The CME lean hog index was at 85.25 cents a pound on Monday, while a pound of wholesale pork cost 94.11 cents.

Analysts said that spread left the futures market space to climb as traders look to close the gap.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2017 15:07 ET (19:07 GMT)