Livestock Futures Mixed to Start Month

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Livestock futures were mixed in a quiet session.

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Live cattle futures for October delivery fell 0.2% to $1.0515 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later-month contracts rose.

The cattle market has been under pressure this week after prices in the cash trade for slaughter-ready cattle fell from a week earlier. Meatpackers mostly bought cattle for between $1.04 and $1.05 a pound on a live basis and $1.64 to $1.66 a pound dressed. That was down several cents from last week, straining feedlots while packer margins swelled.

Meanwhile, beef prices showed signs of steadying this week after several consecutive weeks of losses. A pound of wholesale beef rose 0.19 cents to $1.9191 on Thursday afternoon, the third day of gains this week.

Hog futures inched higher for a third consecutive day of gains on Friday. CME October lean hog contracts rose 0.1% to 61.45 cents a pound.

Futures have stabilized after falling to a sharp discount to the CME lean hog index, which tracks the cash market. The two should find some convergence before the front-month October contract expires, analysts say.

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Flabby pork belly prices, which have fallen from record highs earlier this summer, have pressured the broader hog market. A pound of pork belly fell 1.3 cents to $1.2628 late Thursday before turning higher at midday Friday.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 01, 2017 16:12 ET (20:12 GMT)