LIVESTOCK-Hog futures firm on technical buying
CHICAGO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures firmed for the second day in a row on Thursday, with technical buying supporting prices following the market's bounce from a 10-month low on Wednesday, traders said.
CME December lean hog futures settled up 1.275 cents at 77.775 cents per lb. Front-month October hogs ended up 1.575 cents at 92.375 cents per lb.
Cattle futures were mostly weaker, although short-covering provided support to the nearby live cattle contract.
CME October live cattle settled up 0.65 cent at 145.325 cents per lb and the most-active December contract dipped 0.05 cent to end at 147.875 cents.
CME November feeder cattle eased 0.9 cent to finish at 176.725 cents per lb.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday morning that export sales of beef totaled 16,500 tonnes in the week ended Sept. 29. That was down from 22,100 tonnes the prior week.
Pork export sales were reported at 34,300 tonnes, up slightly from 34,400 tonnes a week earlier.
Firmer wholesale pork prices lent support. The U.S. Department of Agriculture priced pork carcasses on Thursday morning at $101.75 per hundredweight (cwt), up $2.46 from Wednesday afternoon.
Cash hog prices softened. The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, eased 51 cents to $92.93 per cwt, its lowest since February.
Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 127,000 cattle on Thursday, in line with a week ago and up from 121,000 cattle a year ago, the USDA said. In the pork sector, packers killed an estimated 489,000 hogs, up from 476,000 hogs a week ago and 481,000 hogs a year ago. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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