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LIVESTOCK-CME lean hog futures end mostly lower on weak cash market

By Karl Plume

CHICAGO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures ended mostly lower on Thursday as eroding cash hog prices weighed on the market along with weaker wholesale pork prices and slumping pork exports.

Technical buying helped to underpin the actively traded October contract, the only month that closed higher on Thursday, while back month futures all declined.

"The cash market has just belly flopped. The (CME lean hog) index has taken off the whole summer rally in just four weeks. The futures market is trying to keep up with that downside," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.

The CME's lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, has tumbled 17% from a 14-month high posted a month ago.

CME October lean hogs added 1.050 cents to settle at 92.125 cents per lb, while December hogs fell 0.925 cent to 82.675 cents per lb. Deferred contracts were down 0.225 cent to 0.850 cent.

Declining pork prices and export demand weighed on lean hogs as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quoted the wholesale carcass cutout at $102.44 per cwt on Thursday, down 71 cents from the previous day.

Pork and pork product exports in the year through July were down 17% from the same period a year ago, according to Census Bureau data released on Wednesday.

Live cattle futures closed mixed on Thursday, while feeder cattle gained amid easing corn feed prices.

Benchmark CME October live cattle were up 0.125 cent at 144.375 cents per lb and December was down 0.425 cent at 149.650 cents.

October feeder cattle rose 0.450 cent to close at 184.400 cents per lb. (Reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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