CME live cattle slip on cash anticipation, beef quotes

Thu Dec 6, 2012 9:44am EST

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Dec 6 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures slipped on
Thursday following weaker wholesale beef values and anticipation
for steady-to-lower cash cattle prices, traders and analysts
said.
    * Hog futures fell on profit taking amid expectations that
cash hog prices may be about to top out.

    LIVE CATTLE - At 8:35 a.m. CST (1435 GMT), December 
was at 125.800 cents per lb, down 0.350 cent. February 
slipped 0.275 cent to 130.250 cents.
    * Investors look for cash cattle to trade around $125 per
cwt, steady to $1 lower than last week, as packers draw from
ample inventories while reducing slaughters.
    * Retail demand for beef has increased, but only at lower
prices. And, about 40,000 more cattle are up for sale than a
week ago, which could further weigh on cash. 
    * Cash bid in Kansas and Nebraska stood at $123 per cwt
versus $126 to $127 asking prices, said feedlot sources. No bids
were reported in Texas where cattle are priced at $128, they
said.
    * The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wednesday wholesale
price data showed choice beef at $194.89 per cwt, down 16 cents
from Tuesday, and select cuts dropped $1.69 to $174.83. Sales
volume was 247 carloads, the most since 342 carloads on Oct. 10.
    * The only positive fundamental is exports that were
expected to taper off because of tight U.S. cattle supplies that
pushed beef prices higher, a trader said.
    * USDA data showed beef exports last week at a net 14,000
tonnes, mostly for Mexico. That was up 19 percent from the
previous week and down 3 percent from the prior four-week
average.   
                    
    FEEDER CATTLE - January was 0.250 cent per lb higher
at 146.650 cents per lb, and March was at 149.275 cents,
up 0.225 cent.
    * Futures were supported by weaker corn prices, easing feed
input costs.
    
    LEAN HOGS - December was fell 0.600 cent at 84.400
cents per lb. February was 0.650 cent lower at 85.000
cents.
    * Packers raised bids for cash hogs late on Wednesday, an
11th straight day, to make sure they have enough supplies to
cover this week's slaughter, an analyst said.
    * The average hog price Wednesday evening in the
most-watched Iowa/Minnesota hog market was $85.99 per cwt. It
dropped $6.74 Wednesday morning but was up 38 cents from
Tuesday, the USDA said.
    * But, cash prices could soon trend lower with plants now
operating in the red and wholesale pork prices showing signs of
topping out, he said.
    * Pork packer margins for Wednesday were at a negative $5.05
per head, compared with a negative $1.80 on Tuesday and a
positive $6.40 for Nov. 28, according to HedgersEdge.com.    
    * The wholesale price for pork on Wednesday was down 17
cents per cwt from Tuesday to $85.82, after posting gains eight
out the last 11 days, according to USDA data.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Grant
McCool)
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