Cattle Futures - Live Cattle Slip; Hogs Tumble

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures settledweaker Friday on depressed fed cattle sales in Texas, disintegrating boxed-beefcutout values and mounting caution ahead of the federal government's monthlycattle-on-feed figures on at 3 p.m. EDT.
calendar icon 25 June 2007
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However, live cattle contracts floated up from session lows due tolast-minute short covering and Chicago Board of Trade corn's dramatic retreatas the morning wore on. Feeder cattle ended firm.

Meanwhile, lean hogs and pork bellies registered significant losses duringthe session.

With more sellers than buyers on deck, live cattle futures weakened at thestart and bled lower as the session progressed. Traders earlier were content totake the path of least resistance amid technical pressure and uncooperativebeef cutouts.

The board sell-off in recent days has factored in what many in the pitbelieve would be a bearish cattle-on-feed report due to increased placements.But, Texas cash cattle prices, which came in $3 per hundredweight under most oflast week's trade, quietly banished spot June to a six-month low.

The June trading month's liquidation before the contract expires June 29 wasanother bearish factor.

Although more cattle are left to be purchased in the Plains, bullish tradershave resigned themselves to the notion that packers may have the upper handthis week.

Pit bulls and bears alike forward to next week's futures and fed cattletrade, again with their eye on beef cutouts that to some degree set the tonefor fed cash movement.

Nonetheless, a few "perma-bulls" were inspired by futures' rise from sessionlows on Friday.

Locals bought August and June. Cadent Financial was among late June buyers.RJ O'Brien and Fimat bought October. ADM and Rosenthal sold October.

Feeder cattle ended firm on short covering, CBOT corn's steep drop andunderlying chart support.

June live cattle settled at 87.80 cents per pound, down 17 points, and Augustended at 89.65, a loss of 27 points.

August feeder cattle finished up 30 points at 108.40 cents, September closedup 35 points at 108.67 cents.

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