CME lean hog futures touch three-week low

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CME Group lean hog futures set a three-week low on Thursday, under pressure from losses in broader markets and following recent weakness in cash hog prices, analysts said.

Feeder cattle futures also ended lower as the market pulled back one day after hitting a September high.

Livestock markets took signals from a decline in U.S. stocks amid concerns that economic headwinds could dent demand for pricey meat, traders said.

CME February lean hogs ended down 1.550 cents at 82.525 cents per pound and reached their lowest price since Dec. 15 at 81.600.

Lean hog futures are expected to find support later in the year from tightening supplies of U.S. hogs, though the market is not focused on that factor yet, a broker said.

In feeder cattle futures, the March contract sank 1.675 cents to 186.550 cents per pound. It was a turnaround after futures prices rallied on Wednesday when a drop in grain prices made livestock feed less expensive.

Corn futures on Thursday finished down just 1 cent at the Chicago Board of Trade, after setting a two-week low

Most live cattle futures settled lower, though the benchmark February contract ended up 0.075 cent at 157.350 cents per pound.

Strong wholesale boxed beef prices have recently helped underpin live cattle futures, brokers said.

Choice cuts of boxed beef fell by $1.26 to $281.63 per hundredweight on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Select cuts of boxed beef rose by $0.55 to 256.95 per hundredweight. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago)