CHICAGO, April 18 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hog futures rallied to their highest price in more than two
weeks on Monday, while live cattle and feeder cattle futures
Hopes for increased domestic demand from summertime grilling
and cookouts helped lift hog futures, analysts said. They added
that surging grain and soybean futures raised concerns that hog
weights will decline as livestock feed becomes more expensive.
CME June lean hogs settled up 3.925 cents at 122.400
cents per pound and touched their highest price since April 1.
The contract has jumped 9% since nearing a one-month low on
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the pork carcass
value was down 72 cents at $109.49 per cwt, with lower ham
prices weighing on the cutout value.
Typically, the pork cutout value gradually improves leading
up to the summer grilling season, Steiner Consulting Group said
in a report.
"Although March retail pork prices were a record, the
sluggish pork cutout in recent weeks will likely lead to a
pullback in April retail pork prices," the report said.
U.S. pork exports have dropped this year amid a decline in
shipments to China, the world's biggest pork consumer.
China posted its highest quarterly pork production in more
than three years during January through March, data showed on
Monday, reflecting a boost in breeding following a disease-led
In the cattle markets, CME June live cattle futures
settled down 0.625 cent at 135.800 cents per pound. The contract
pulled back after reaching its highest price since April 1
earlier in the session.
May feeder cattle futures fell 2.625 cents to end at
159.150 cents per pound.
China's General Administration of Customs suspended imports
from three Brazilian beef exporters - JBS SA, Marfrig
and Naturafrig - for one week starting Saturday, the
newspaper Valor Economico reported.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Aditya Soni)