Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures were mostly lower on Thursday, with deferred contracts setting back on a round of profit-taking.
The front-month October hogs contract ended slightly higher, but closed below session peaks, in thin trading.
Live cattle contracts followed a similar pattern to the hogs, with the front-month contract ending in positive territory while deferreds eased.
CME October hogs ended up 0.025 cent, to close at 67.5 cents/lb. (all figures US$). December hogs fell 1.825 cents, to 55.325 cents/lb.
CME October live cattle futures settled up 0.425 cent at 113.625 cents/lb. Most active December lost 0.025 cent, to close at 118.375 cents.
CME October feeder cattle finished 0.925 cent lower, at 156.95 cents/lb.
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning said that export sales of beef totaled 16,100 tonnes in the latest reporting week, down from 16,400 last week.
Large supplies are looming over cattle markets, after U.S. ranchers expanded their herds to take advantage of low prices for feed grains and strong demand for beef.
Pork export sales dropped to 15,000 tonnes from 30,500 tonnes a week ago.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago.