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U.S. livestock: Cattle settle mostly lower on technical selling

CME lean hogs close mixed

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle and feeder cattle futures were mostly lower in a technical selloff on Tuesday, with each declining to the lowest levels in about two months before trimming losses.

Broad selling in many commodities, led by crude oil, further weighed on cattle at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

“We had a pretty close correlation with the lows in crude oil and cattle,” said Global Commodity Analytics analyst Mike Zuzolo said. “Both saw exhaustive fund selling and long liquidation.”

CME August live cattle futures were down 0.2 cent, to 115.9 cents/lb., recovering from their session low of 113.65 cents (all figures US$). Front-month June cattle finished up 0.35 cent to 120.35 cents as investors continued to exit positions ahead of the contract’s expiration at the end of the month.

CME August feeder cattle finished 1.075 cents lower at 143.925 cents/lb.

Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA said it was selling Five Rivers Cattle Feeding in North America, the largest U.S. cattle feedlot operation, triggering some selling in cattle futures.

Additionally, feedlots were offering more cattle for sale this week to beef packers, potentially weighing on prices in U.S. Plains cash cattle markets.

CME lean hog futures were mixed, with front-month contracts gaining on back months as U.S. wholesale pork prices hovered near the highest levels in more than a year, underscoring strong demand for U.S. hogs and pork.

CME July hogs were up 1.1 cents, to 85 cents/lb., while most-active August hogs were 0.175 cent higher at 81.85 cents.

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

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