U.S. livestock: Cattle, hog futures rebound on supply reports

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Chicago | Reuters – Chicago Mercantile Exchange cattle and hog futures rose on Monday, bouncing back from Friday’s decline as traders digested government reports that showed supplies, while remaining abundant, were less than expected.

Concerns about the spread of African swine fever in China added support.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday reported that beef in cold storage rose to 508.560 million lbs as of Sept. 30. Pork belly stocks stood at 30.301 million lbs, up from 20.897 million lbs a year ago.

A few analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected that the amount of beef in cold storage would be around 534 million pounds, up from 496 million pounds a year ago.

On Friday afternoon, USDA’s monthly Cattle on Feed report showed 11.4 million cattle in feedlots as of Oct. 1, about 5 percent more than a year ago and the most ever in the data series that started in 1996. Still, that was slightly less than analyst expectations for a 6.4 percent spike.

Some 2.051 million cattle were placed on feed in September, down 5 percent from last year. Analysts anticipated a roughly 0.1 percent increase.

China’s three-month-old outbreak of African swine fever has spread to the country’s south, its major pork-consuming region, signaling how deeply the deadly disease has permeated the country’s pig herd, the world’s largest. Two new cases reported in the southwestern province of Yunnan on Sunday came as China enters its peak pig production period.

The most active December live cattle contract rose 1.500 cents, closing at 118.275 cents per pound while February cattle were up 1.525 cents at 122.675 cents.

CME November feeder cattle gained 2.900 cents to 157.000 cents per pound.

CME December lean hog futures settled up 1.575 cents at 53.175 cents per pound.

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