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LIVESTOCK-Higher cash prices halt CME hogs losing streak

CHICAGO, March 13 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hogs on Tuesday snapped a four-session slide, helped
by short-covering and firmer prices for market-ready, or cash,
hogs, traders said.

They said some investors bought deferred months as fears of
a trade war eased.

Futures drew support from expectations for only a slight
seasonal increase in hog numbers over the next couple of weeks,
said Allendale Inc chief strategist Rich Nelson.

Discussions over trade issues exaggerated CME lean hogs'
recent selloff, leaving some to wonder whether the market had
actually bottomed out on Monday, he said.

The United States exports roughly one quarter of the pork it

April's gains were capped by funds in CME's livestock
markets that sold, or "rolled," that contract's long positions
mostly into June in accordance with the Standard & Poor's
Goldman Sachs Commodity Index.

Tuesday was the last of five days for the roll process.

April hogs closed up 0.050 cent per pound at 67.725
cents, and May finished 0.625 cent higher at 71.850


Most live cattle contracts at the CME were weakened by
worries about increased supplies ahead, traders said.

But Tuesday's better-than-expected cash cattle prices, aided
by solid packer profits, underpinned April futures, they said.

April live cattle closed up 0.350 cent per pound to
121.900 cents. June finished down 0.125 cent to 113.150
cents and August ended down 0.050 cent at 110.775 cents.

Processors on Tuesday bought a small number of cash cattle
in the U.S. Plains for $126 to $128 per cwt, steady to $2 higher
than a week ago.

"The trade is firmly convinced that we've already got the
top in for the year and that we should expect generally lower
cash prices almost each week from here on out," said Nelson,
regarding futures' subdued response to this week's cash results.

Cattle supplies typically increase after the first half of
February as moderating temperatures allow livestock to add
weight more quickly.

Most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports suggest
larger numbers of cattle numbers in the months ahead.

Steady-to-lower cash feeder cattle prices and softer
deferred month live cattle futures pressured CME feeder cattle

Feeder cattle futures suggest prices for calves are
overpriced compared to returns for finished cattle, Nelson said.

"Even excluding the rally in corn prices, these feeder
prices are still highly unprofitable," Nelson said.

March feeders ended 0.625 cent per pound lower at
141.550 cents.
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters
Editing by Leslie Adler)

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