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Lean hog, live cattle futures end lower on profit-taking

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CHICAGO — Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures closed lower on Friday on cooling wholesale pork prices and profit-taking at week’s end, a day after the benchmark October contract set a life-of-contract high.

Cattle futures also set back on profit-taking, but the most-active October live cattle contract posted a second straight weekly advance, bolstered by firming cash markets. Slaughter-ready cattle traded in the southern Plains this week at $140 per hundredweight (cwt), up $4 to $5 from last week.

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Commodity funds hold net long positions in both live cattle and lean hog futures, leaving the markets vulnerable to bouts of long liquidation.

CME August October lean hogs settled down 1.050 cents on Friday at 100.025 cents per pound, a day after posting a life-of-contract high at 101.650 cents. Despite Friday’s lower close, the contract ended the week up 1.7%, its fourth straight weekly advance.

The spot August hog contract, which expires next week, ended down 0.675 cent on Friday at 121.725 cents.

Wholesale pork prices eased. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) priced pork carcasses at $121.83 per cwt on Friday afternoon, down $1.48 from Thursday and the lowest since July 14.

Meanwhile, CME October live cattle futures settled down 0.600 cent Friday at 144.500 cents per lb but eked out a weekly advance of 0.4%. CME September feeder cattle futures fell 1.225 cents to settle at 183.375 cents per lb.

The USDA in its monthly supply/demand report raised its projections for 2022 and 2023 domestic beef production.

The government lowered its estimate of 2022 pork production but left its 2023 pork production forecast unchanged. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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