Cattle Futures: Live Cattle Softens

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures closed weak on disappointing cleanup cash business, midday boxed beef's modest slippage and December/February bear spreads.
calendar icon 30 November 2007
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Feeder cattle closed moderately lower while lean hogs and pork bellies ended narrowly mixed.

Beef futures opened unevenly as traders digested Wednesday's mostly steady fed cattle outcome and beef cutout's rise. That initially fueled December/February forward spreads, which pushed February to a five-month low.

Nevertheless, live cattle contracts slowly inched upward as shorts covered previously held positions. The move was associated with position squaring as trading for November winds down.

Furthermore, a few longs were attracted to December and February's oversold chart conditions.

By the same token, December's bullish enthusiasm soured, and front-month bear spread developed, after wholesale beef demand took a step backward.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Thursday midday boxed beef item showed choice cuts down $0.41 per hundredweight and select items slipped $0.38.


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