LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures mixed; hog futures ease
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures eased on Wednesday, retreating back toward seven-week lows hit on Monday after a bargain buying bounce fizzled as plentiful supplies remained the focus of investors.
Feeder cattle futures were slightly higher following the front-month contract's decline to its lowest since July 1 on Tuesday.
"The cattle are just swinging back and forth after a pretty brutal fund liquidation phase," said Dennis Smith, commodity broker at Archer Financial Services said.
CME December live cattle futures dropped 0.875 cent to 104.575 cents per pound, settling below the low end of its 20-day Bollinger range.
January feeder cattle gained 0.375 cent to 127.075 cents per pound.
Hog futures were weaker, but declines were limited as traders still expected demand from China to remain strong even as it seeks to rebuild its herd, Smith said.
CME December lean hogs fell 0.05 cent to 69.2 cents per pound, closing above session lows as it followed a recovery in the cash market.
The contract found support at its 10-day moving average for the second day in a row. It has not traded below that key technical point since Oct. 6.
Pork supplies during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday in China, the world's top consumer, will be 30% higher than a year ago, an agriculture official said on Wednesday, after significant efforts to rebuild a depleted hog herd.
German pig prices were unchanged this week at 1.27 euros a kg, the association of German animal farmers VEZG said on Wednesday, despite import bans by Asian countries after African swine fever was found in the country. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Tom Brown)
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