Cattle Futures Turn Higher; Hogs Lower

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cattle futures rebounded on Tuesday as the week's cash trade picked up.

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The cattle market started the week under pressure after a government report showed large numbers of cattle destined for slaughterhouses, an indication of growing supplies next year.

But prices turned higher on Tuesday, despite ongoing concerns about oversupply.

Cattle futures were due for a bounce, said Jeff French of Top Third Ag Marketing, after trading patterns suggested prices had fallen too far.

Tuesday's gains were "a way for the market to take a breather," Mr. French said in a note to clients. "There are many cattle that will need to be slaughtered in the weeks and months to come; it is critical demand remains strong or prices could continue to move lower during the first quarter of 2018."

December live cattle futures rose 0.8% to $1.17975 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale-beef prices rose $1.63 to $207.81 per 100 pounds at midday.

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The week's cash trade for physical cattle started on earlier than usual, with meatpackers buying herds in Texas and Kansas for $118 per 100 pounds, down a dollar from last week's average price. Analysts said packers and feedlots aimed to wrap up the cash trade before the Thanksgiving break.

Hog futures were lower, however, giving back Monday's gains. CME December lean hog contracts fell 2.1% to 60.7 cents a pound. Trading patterns in the hog futures market suggest that prices could fall further, Mr. French said.

Wholesale-pork prices fell 59 cents to $81.68 per 100 pounds, while cash prices were also expected to fall on Tuesday.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2017 16:09 ET (21:09 GMT)