CME live cattle down on fund selling; hogs edge lower
Dec 3 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures traded lower on Tuesday, pressured by funds' liquidation of long positions, traders said.
* Funds adjusted their holdings to exit long positions before first notice day on Dec. 9.
* Traders expected fewer cattle to be listed for sale this week, which will probably support at least steady cash prices.
* U.S. Plains cash cattle traded at $132 per hundredweight (cwt) last week, up $1 from the previous week, feedlot sources said.
LIVE CATTLE - At 9:31 a.m. CST (1531 GMT), December was at 132.775 cents per lb, down 0.500 cent. February was at 134.100 cents, up 0.175 cents.
* Late Monday government data showed the wholesale choice beef price at $203.06 per cwt, up 0.18 cents from Friday. The wholesale price rose above the five-day average of $201.42 per cwt. Select cuts gained $1.07 to $191.48 per cwt.
* Wholesale beef prices have been boosted by steady demand from grocers after consumers bought Thanksgiving turkeys and hams, a livestock futures trader said.
* Beef packer margins benefited from higher wholesale prices but still remain in the red. According to HedgersEdge, margins were at a negative $14.85 per head, compared with a negative $31.70 a week ago.
* Below zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures are expected across portions of the U.S. Midwest and Plains later this week. Snowfall was also forecast for Texas and Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday.
* Traders and analysts will watch the weather closely as extremely cold temperatures will slow cattle weight gain.
* FEEDER CATTLE - January was unchanged at 165.600 cents per lb. March was at 165.650 cents per lb., down 0.025 cent.
* Feeder cattle futures were unchanged to lower as they followed weak live cattle futures.
* Strong auction prices limited losses, traders said.
LEAN HOGS - December was at 85.500 cents per lb, down 0.525 cent, while February was at 89.800 cents, down 0.650 cent.
* CME hogs traded lower, while an improved wholesale pork price limited losses, an analyst said.
* U.S. Department of Agriculture data on Monday afternoon said the wholesale pork price was up $1.72 from Friday at $91.53 per cwt.
* December futures traded at premium to the CME's lean hog index of 81.22 cents, which dragged on the front-month contract.
* Margins for packers, while in black, have weakened as they continue to pay high prices for record-heavy hogs.
* Pork packer margins were at $15.35 per head on Tuesday, compared with a $16.70 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com.
* USDA data on Monday afternoon reported cash hog prices in the closely watched Iowa/Minnesota market down 11 cents from Thursday at $81.79 per cwt.
* Hog prices in the U.S. Midwest held mostly steady on mixed demand, according to brokers. (Reporting by Meredith Davis in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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