Cattle Futures - Hogs Up On Higher Corn;Live Cattle Mixed

US - The Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures closed higher Wednesday on short covering, areas of cash strength, buy stops and Chicago Board of Trade corn that hit the 20 cent-per-bushel daily price limit. Pork bellies also finished up sharply. Meanwhile, live cattle settled mixed, and feeders dropped sharply in response to higher CBOT feedgrains.
calendar icon 26 April 2007
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Live cattle futures closed mixed with April through October up slightly on April/June and June/August bear and June/October and August/October bull spreads. Meanwhile, deferred contracts were pressured by CBOT corn's limit-up sprint.

Spot April live cattle's movement was dictated by attempts to price in this week's cash trade ahead of the contract's expiration on April 30. April and June flip-flopped on either side of their 10-day moving averages due to break buying and rally selling.

A handful of cattle speculators bought October live cattle as per an agricultural firm's recommendation.

Confidence that cattle feeders might command as much as $2 per hundredweight more for their animals than last week was shaken somewhat by boxed-beef's midday drop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture quoted choice and select down $1.68 and $0.39, respectively.

What's more, the seasonal increase in cattle slaughters remains another negative factor. Conversely, much-improved calculated packer operating margins is considered a plus.

RJ O'Brien and Man Financial were cited as April buyers. Locals bought June. Rosenthal sold June. Cadent Financial sold June and August outright.

Feeder cattle futures closed sharply lower in response to CBOT corn's dramatic upswing, sporadic live cattle weakness, and April/May and May/August bear spreading. Back-month feeder cattle technical-related selling hastened losses.

April live cattle settled at 96.95 cents per pound, up 5 points. June was at 93.32, up 2 points. Spot April feeder cattle, which will expire Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), settled down 25 points at 106.85 cents a pound, and May ended 115 points lower at 107.97 cents.

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