CME live cattle narrowly mixed, cash lends support

Mon Dec 2, 2013 10:36am EST

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Dec 2 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures traded narrowly mixed on Monday, while expectations of steady to higher prices in the cash cattle market limited losses, analysts said.

* U.S. Plains cash cattle traded at $132 per cwt last week, up $1 from the previous week, feedlot sources said.

* U.S. Department of Agriculture reported cattle sales in Nebraska at $133 per cwt, up $2 from the previous week.

* Traders eye a cold snap forecast toward the end of the week across portions of the U.S. Midwest and Plains.

LIVE CATTLE - At 9:27 a.m. CST (1527 GMT), December was at 133.200 cents per lb, down 0.275 cent. February was at 134.300 cents, up 0.050 cents.

* Investors await a tally of cattle for sale this week. Some market participants expect tight numbers to support steady to higher cash prices this week.

* Investors watch weather forecasts as colder temperatures toward the end of the week could slow cattle weight gain, traders said.

* Late Friday government data showed the wholesale choice beef price at $202.88 per cwt, up 0.33 cents from Thursday. Select cuts gained 21 cents at $190.41 per cwt.

* Beef packer margins improved from a week ago but remain in the red. Margins were at a negative $19.30 per head on Monday, compared with a negative $63.60 per head a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com

* FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 165.600 cents per lb, up 0.125 cent. March was unchanged at 165.675 cents per lb.

* Weak Chicago Board of Trade corn prices were supportive to feeder cattle.

LEAN HOGS - December was at 85.600 cents per lb, down 0.075 cent, while February was at 90.250 cents, down 0.300 cent.

* CME hogs traded slightly lower while strong cash prices limited losses, analysts said.

* USDA data on Friday afternoon reported cash hog prices in the closely watched Iowa/Minnesota market up $2.11 from Wednesday at $82.11 per cwt.

* Hog prices in the U.S. Midwest were steady to a $1 higher on mixed demand, according to hog brokers.

* Packers conducted a large slaughter on Saturday to make up for a reduced production during the holiday-shortened week.

* While an estimated 345,000 head were killed on Saturday, year to date hog slaughter was down 1.5 percent, according to USDA data.

* Temperatures are expected to drop in portions of the U.S. Midwest and Plains toward the end of the week.

* Some packers may attempt to buy supply early in the week to avoid any weather-related delays, an analyst said.

* Pork packer margins were at $11.65 per head on Monday, compared with a $17.90 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com.

(Reporting by Meredith Davis in Chicago)

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