LIVESTOCK-CME hogs, cattle fall on strong slaughter, profit-taking

By Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, April 4 (Reuters)Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell on Monday on profit taking following last week’s Hog and Pigs report from the US Department of Agriculture.

“The overall fundamental is still tight numbers, tight supply created by disease, empty pen spaces, empty buildings,” said Brad Kooima, commodity broker at Kooima Kooima Varilek Trading Inc. “At some point, the market flat runs out of buyers. Everyone that was bullish already was already participating.”

CME benchmark June lean hogs LHM2 settled lower for a fifth session, down 4.300 cents at 116.150 cents per pound. The 3.57% drop was its biggest daily decline since March 4, finding technical support at the 50-day moving average.

Daily hog slaughter of 477,000 head was in line with week-ago volumes and 41.96% higher than the same period a year earlier.LIV/KILL

The CME’s Lean Hog ‚Äč‚ÄčIndex, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell 50 cents to $102.63 cents per pound..IHX

CME live cattle futures fell for a fourth consecutive session, pressured by strong slaughter as producers in drought-stricken parts of the US plains thin herds.

“The beef cattle slaughter has just been relentless,” said Kooima. “Steady cash helped take us off the lows.”

Packers slaughtered 121,000 head of cattle on Monday, 2,000 more than a week ago and up 15.24% from a year earlier.

Strong beef demand has helped ease supply pressure, as firm cash cattle trade pulled futures up from earlier-session lows to end the day just below even.

Cash cattle trades mostly steady at $138.00 per cwt, though some $140.00 trades took place in the northern plains, traders said.

Boxed beef prices were mixed, with choice cuts climbing 90 cents to $268.04 per cwt, while select cuts eased 82 cents to $261.70.

The most-active June contract LCM2 fell 0.925 cent to 134.925 cents per pound. May feeder cattle FCK2 fell 3.650 cents to 162.475 cents per pound, as rising corn prices push feed costs up for producers.

(Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

((Christopher.Walljasper@thomsonreuters.com; 1 630 269 3072; Reuters Messaging: christopher.walljasper.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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