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U.S. livestock: Cattle, hogs narrowly mixed on pre-USDA consolidation

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(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle and lean hog futures were flat to narrowly mixed on Monday as investors consolidated positions ahead of a government livestock and crop report due on Tuesday, traders and analysts said.

Some live cattle contracts eked out small gains following modestly higher sales in U.S. Plains cash cattle markets on Friday. But futures were trading at a premium to the cash market, limiting the potential upside.

“The cattle futures have had a nice little bounce, but how much do you want to lead the (cash) market by?” CHS Hedging analyst Steve Wagner said.

CME October live cattle settled 0.125 cent lower to 107.2 cents/lb. and December cattle was up 0.025 cent to 112.875 cents. Cash cattle on Friday fetched about $105/cwt, or roughly a two-cent discount to front-month futures.

Monday was the second of the five-day roll for investors tracking the Standard + Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, in which traders rolled out of October contracts and into December contracts.

A monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report was due at midday on Tuesday, and could provide fodder for increased volatility for livestock and grain markets that have moved in relatively narrow ranges so for this month.

“The money managers are sitting on their hands waiting to see how this plays out,” Wagner said of the upcoming USDA report.

USDA was likely to reduce its U.S. corn production estimate, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

CME October feeder cattle futures finished 0.925 cent higher at 149.35 cents/lb., earlier reaching a more than one-month high of 149.7.

CME October lean hogs were down 0.575 cent to 61.575 cents per pound and December hog futures off 0.275 cent to 58.625 cents.

USDA at late morning said wholesale pork prices were up $1.44 to $83.56 per cwt while choice-grade beef prices were down 64 cents to $191.24/cwt.

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

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