Hog Futures Rise, Cattle Fall

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Hog futures bounced for a fourth-consecutive session on Tuesday as pork prices rose.

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Wholesale pork prices rose 58 cents to $83.16 per 100 pounds as of midday, adding to gains from Monday. That was the highest price since early September.

Hog traders are banking on strong demand for pork to absorb larger pig herds. A recent government report showed slightly lower stocks of pork in cold storage in October than a month earlier.

December-dated lean hog futures rose 1.9% to 65.75 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since Nov. 2.

But the cash market for physical hogs was under pressure. Meatpackers negotiated lower prices on Monday and market observers expected them to pay steady-to-lower money again on Tuesday.

Cattle futures fell, though they closed above lows for the session. Wholesale beef prices were lower on Monday and again Tuesday midday, adding to the pressure on the futures market.

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CME December live cattle futures slid 0.2% to $1.1965 a pound.

Traders were looking ahead to the week's cash cattle trade, with some expecting packers to pay higher prices. Showlists of slaughter-ready cattle are smaller, analysts said, leaving packers with less supply to choose from.

A little under 1,000 cattle are for sale at the online Fed Cattle Exchange auction on Wednesday, which can often help set the tone of the week's trade.

"Committed cattle numbers available to the packer are said to be down sharply," said Troy Vetterkind, owner of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. "Packers are going to need to buy enough cattle to run some heavy kills for the next couple of weeks before Christmas."

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2017 16:21 ET (21:21 GMT)