CME live cattle, hogs seen opening narrowly mixed

Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:53am EST

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Dec 17 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures are expected to
open narrowly mixed on Monday, featuring profit taking and
sentiment that cash cattle prices may firm in coming weeks, said
analysts and traders.
    * Hog futures at the CME drew mixed calls based on higher
cash hog prices and lower wholesale pork values.
                     
    LIVE CATTLE - Seen down 0.300 to up 0.300 cent per lb.
    * Futures' premium to last week's cash cattle sales of
$124.50 per cwt, steady to up 50 cents, could weigh on the
December contract, an analyst said.
    * December futures closed at 126.900 cents on Friday. 
    * Expectations for tighter cattle supplies ahead and
improving packer margins could motivate futures buyers, he said.
    * Cash prices may have bottomed out because fewer cattle are
available due to high feed costs after back-to-back droughts in
parts of the country, an analyst said.
    * Still, packers will again reduce slaughter rates in order
to control cash spending and lift wholesale beef prices, he
said.
    * The U.S. Department of Agriculture showed retail beef
prices in November hit a record high of $5.15 per lb, surpassing
the previous mark of $5.09 in January.
    * Investors continue to monitor deliveries that continue to
grow due to cash cattle trading at a discount to futures.  
    * The CME reported three new deliveries late on Friday.
Firms retendered 57 deliveries from earlier this week, four were
demanded and 33 were reclaimed.
            
    FEEDER CATTLE - Called 0.300 cent per lb lower to 0.300 cent
higher.
    * Futures may take their cue from a possible mixed live
cattle market.

    LEAN HOGS - Seen up 0.300 cent to down 0.300 cent per lb.
    * Futures may draw support from higher cash hog prices as
packers bought supplies to accommodate slaughters in the near
term, said analysts and traders.
    * They said Friday's wholesale pork price drop, led by lower
ham values, could pressure futures.
    * November retail pork prices were at $3.48 per lb, compared
with $3.48 in October and $3.51 in November 2011, said USDA.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Alden
Bentley)
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