Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures fell for the fifth day in a row on Thursday, with the front-month contract hitting its lowest since March 2 on a continuous basis.
The hog market was under pressure from long liquidation by investment funds, traders said.
Cattle futures were mixed, with live cattle edging higher after four straight days of losses, while feeder cattle contracts dropped to their lowest since July 21.
A well-supplied cash market was adding bearish pressure to cattle futures, traders said.
CME October lean hog futures dropped 1.9 cents to close at 85.475 cents/lb., up off a low of 85.25 cents (all figures US$).
CME December live cattle rose 0.15 cent to close at 128.8 cents/lb. after bottoming out at 128.575 cents.
October feeder cattle dipped 0.025 cent to 159.25 cents/lb., touching its lowest since July 19.
Beef prices eased, with choice cuts of boxed beef down $2.28, at $332.58 per hundredweight (cwt), while select cuts dropped $1.72, to $296.45/cwt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
Margins for beef packers were about $882.40 per head of cattle, down $8 from Wednesday. A week ago, margins stood at $921.65, according to livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.