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U.S. livestock: Cattle, hog futures climb on technical buying

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. livestock futures were higher on technical buying on Monday, with live cattle nearing recent contract highs and lean hogs rebounding from a multi-month low reached on Friday, traders and analysts said.

Firmer prices for pork and beef in the wholesale market also buoyed futures.

Hogs jumped as much as four per cent on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, rising after prices fell to the lowest since August late last week. Most-active CME April lean hogs finished up 2.925 cents at 63.05 cents/lb., notching the contract’s biggest gains in about two months (all figures US$).

“It’s more of a technical bounce than anything,” said Darin Fessler, senior hedge adviser at Lakefront Futures. “Hogs got to an oversold level that guys were stepping in to buy.”

CME April live cattle were 0.725 cent higher at 127 cents/lb., after touching a contract peak of 129.475 cents on Thursday.

CME March feeder cattle climbed 1.7 cents to settle at 144.425 cents/lb.

Feeder cattle steers were up $2/cwt and feeder heifers were down $1-$3/cwt at a closely watched cash auction in Oklahoma City, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA said choice-grade boxed beef prices were up $3.39, to $217.65/cwt, while select beef cuts were up 26 cents, to $213.41/cwt.

Pork prices in the wholesale market were $1.13 higher, to $68.12/cwt, and hogs in the Iowa and southern Minnesota cash market were down 39 cents, to $49.85/cwt, according to USDA.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago.

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