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COMMODITIES : Cattle Futures Climb in Anticipation of USDA Report

November 17, 1987|From Associated Press

Cattle futures prices rose slightly Monday as traders awaited a government report which, when it was released after the close of trading, showed 11% more cattle on feed than a year earlier.

The figure was close to what was anticipated.

On other markets, energy futures declined, grain and soybeans were mixed and precious metals were a little lower.

The Agriculture Department's cattle report showed that as of Nov. 1 there were 7.55 million cattle on feedlots in the seven major producing states surveyed.

"The report does confirm that there were 11% more cattle on feed, but it also indicated that producers continued to market the animals aggressively during October," said Chuck Levitt, an analyst with Shearson Lehman Bros.

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle settled 0.25 cent to 0.57 cent higher, with the contract for delivery in December at 63.80 cents a pound; feeder cattle were 0.22 cent to 0.65 cent higher, with November at 75.37 cents a pound; live hogs were 0.35 cent lower to 0.38 cent higher, with December at 43.57 cents a pound, and frozen pork bellies were 0.45 cent to 1 cent lower, with February at 55.57 cents a pound.

Energy futures retreated on the New York Mercantile Exchange, with the market pressured by an abundant supply of crude oil.

An industry newsletter reported Monday that members of OPEC are producing 19 million barrels of crude oil a day, 2.4 million above the cartel's self-imposed ceiling.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled 17 cents to 28 cents lower, with the December contract at $18.65 a barrel, and heating oil was 0.56 cent lower to 0.10 cent higher, with December at 55.84 cents a gallon, and unleaded gasoline was 0.30 cent to 0.79 cent lower, with December at 49.61 cents a gallon.

Copper futures retreated from their rally on the Commodity Exchange in New York, with the December contract down sharply.

December plunged 4.30 cents a pound while the March delivery was off only 0.10 cent, narrowing the sharp spread between the two months characteristic of the rally.

The December contract settled at 98.30 cents a pound; March was 91.50 cents.

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