U.S. livestock: CME hogs weaken on technical selling, demand uncertainty

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures eased on Thursday on a round of technical follow-through selling after declining on Wednesday, traders said.

Weakness in the cash market, as well as uncertainty about demand from China, also weighed on the hog market.

CME February lean hogs closed Thursday at 59.825 cents/lb., down from Wednesday’s close of 60.775 (all figures US$). April hogs dropped 1.35 cents to end Thursday at 63.5.

Cattle futures were mostly higher, with back months gaining on front months amid a round of bear spreading. Prices on the cash market were disappointing, which was weighing on nearby cattle contracts.

CME March feeder cattle was 0.825 cent higher at 144.475 cents/lb. (all figures US$).

CME February live cattle finished 0.025 cent lower at 125.525 cents/lb. and most-active April cattle ended up 0.1 cent at 126.6 cents.

Trade was choppy as there was not much fundamental news for investors to trade on.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly Cattle on Feed report will not be released on Friday because of the partial government shutdown.

“With all of this USDA data not coming out, there is just a lot of uncertainty in all of these markets for the near term,” said Doug Houghton, analyst with Brock Associates Inc.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.


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