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LIVESTOCK-Lean hog futures end higher on bargain buying after 10-month low

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures closed higher on Wednesday on bargain buying, a day after the benchmark December contract fell to a 10-month low, traders said.

CME December lean hog futures settled up 2.075 cents at 76.500 cents per lb. Front-month October hogs ended up 3.800 cents at 90.800 cents per lb.

Firmer wholesale pork prices lent support. The U.S. Department of Agriculture priced pork carcasses on Wednesday afternoon at $99.29 per hundredweight (cwt), up $1 from Tuesday.

Cash hog prices softened but remained at a premium relative to futures. The CME Lean Hog Index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog prices, fell to $93.44 per cwt, its lowest since February.

Live cattle closed higher, rallying from early declines on technical buying as brokers waited for cash cattle trade to develop. CME October live cattle settled up 0.475 cent at 144.675 cents per lb and the most-active December contract rose 0.425 cent to end at 147.925 cents.

CME November feeder cattle jumped 2.125 cents to finish at 177.325 cents per lb.

Meatpackers slaughtered an estimated 128,000 cattle on Wednesday, up from 127,000 a week ago and up from 121,000 cattle a year ago, the USDA said. In the pork sector, packers killed an estimated 487,000 hogs, up from 484,000 hogs a week ago and 480,000 hogs a year ago.

In other livestock news, Tyson Foods Inc, the biggest U.S. meat company by sales, said it will relocate all corporate employees from offices in Chicago and suburban Downers Grove, along with those in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, to its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, starting next year. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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