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LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle, hog futures rise on strong export demand

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle and lean hog futures rose again on Thursday, as fresh export numbers underscored strong demand for meat.

Meanwhile prices on feeder cattle futures were mixed, as trades in the cash market prices jumped, traders said.

Cash cattle had traded earlier in the week at $137-$138 per cwt in the U.S. corn belt, said Don Roose, president of agricultural broker U.S. Commodities. But cash trades on Thursday were as high as $142 per cwt, in response to tightening supplies, he said.

"It was a 'risk on' trading environment today, with the packer still has profitability and signs of strong demand both in the domestic and export markets," Roose said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a weekly report, reported 2021 U.S. pork export net sales were 41,100 metric tonnes in the week ended Nov. 26 - a 48% increase over the prior four-week average.

U.S. beef export net sales were 21,600 metric tonnes for 2021 - up 12% from the previous week and up 5% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said.

CME February lean hogs settled up 1.875 cents at 82.000 cents per pound.

CME February live cattle finished 0.975 cent higher at 139.575 cents per pound. CME January feeder cattle slipped 0.050 cent to 165.775 cents per pound on Wednesday.

Equity and grain commodity markets also rebounded on the day, as rising cases of the new Omicron variant globally continued to drive volatility across markets.

The U.S. on Wednesday identified its first known case of Omicron, though brokers said there were no signs of disruptions to demand for agricultural products.

The first known U.S. case of community transmission of the variant was identified in Minnesota on Thursday, the state's health department said. (Reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago)

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