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LIVESTOCK-Livestock futures fall as corn rally boosts feeding costs

Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, May 30 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange cattle and hog futures closed mostly lower on Thursday, with a rally in the corn market pressuring livestock contracts, traders said.

"It had a lot to do with corn going up," said Doug Houghton, an analyst with Brock Associates Inc. "Feed costs are higher."

Feeder cattle futures notched the biggest losses, setting contract lows across the board. The most actively traded August contract dropped 3.2 percent.

The market was awaiting the U.S. Agriculture Department's weekly export sales report, which will be released on Friday morning.

Last week, the government said pork export sales were a surprisingly large 46,300 tonnes, up from 10,600 tonnes the prior week. Beef export sales also rose, to 24,400 tonnes from 16,9000 tonnes.

Most traders expected Friday's report to show export sales of both commodities below last week's unexpectedly bullish levels.

The first case of African swine fever has been reported in North Korea, South Korea's agriculture ministry said on Thursday, showing how the virus has spread widely since the first outbreak in East Asia was found in China last August.

CME June lean hogs closed down 1.525 cents at 83.675 cents per pound while actively traded July hogs ended up 0.075 cent at 87.875 cents.

June live cattle dropped 2.275 cents to 110.075 cents per pound, and actively traded August fell 2.8 cents to 105.05 cents.

August feeder cattle finished down 4.5 cents at 138.225 cents per pound and September feeders fell 4.50 cents to 138.525 cents. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; editing by Jonathan Oatis)