U.S. livestock: Hog futures fall after weak export sales report

Chicago | Reuters — CME Group hog futures eased on Thursday, pressured by a bearish pork export sales report, traders said.

Cattle contracts were mixed, with live cattle rising on technical buying while feeder cattle eased.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning said that weekly export sales of pork came in at a four-week low of 29,300 tonnes, down from 50,400 tonnes a week earlier.

CME live hogs for February delivery ended down 0.85 cent at 67.575 cents/lb. (all figures US$). The contract dropped below its 10-day moving average during the session but rebounded from its lows and closed right near that key technical point.

February live cattle rose 0.425 cent to 124.6 cents/lb. The contract found support from weakness at the low end of its 20-day Bollinger range. It rallied above its 30-day moving average and its 20-day moving average before hitting resistance at its 10-day moving average.

CME January feeder cattle futures dropped 0.325 cent to 140.55 cents/lb., closing near session lows. Resistance was noted at the contract’s 10-day moving average.

USDA said export sales of beef fell to 12,200 tonnes in the week ended Nov. 28 from 26,600 tonnes a week earlier.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago.

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