CME live cattle gain on cash sentiment, hogs slip
Dec 11 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle on Wednesday edged higher in anticipation of at least steady cash prices this week amid poor weather conditions, traders said.
* Bitterly cold temperatures and treacherous driving conditions in portions of the Midwest have the potential to reduce the flow of cattle to packers and product to retailers.
* No live cattle deliveries were reported by the CME late on Tuesday against the December contract which expires on Dec. 31.
LIVE CATTLE - At 9:25 a.m. CST (1525 GMT), December was at 131.775 cents per lb, up 0.100 cent. February was at 132.700 cents, up 0.050 cent.
* Asking prices of $134 per hundredweight (cwt) developed in Texas and Kansas with no bids yet, feedlot sources said.
* Last week, cash cattle traded at $132 per (cwt) in Kansas and Texas, with sales of $131 to $132 in Nebraska, feedlot sources said.
* While inclement weather in the U.S. Plains is supportive for cash prices, packers are grappling with negative margins and lukewarm beef demand.
* Beef packer margins on Wednesday were at a negative $43.35 per head, compared with a negative $41.50 on Tuesday and a negative $27.60 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.
* Late on Tuesday, the wholesale choice beef price was at $202.12 per cwt, down 40 cents from Monday, and select cuts fell 11 cents to $188.11, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
* FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 165.425 cents per lb, down 0.125 cent. March was at 165.300 cents per lb, down 0.175 cent.
* Feeder cattle felt pressure from profit-taking and weaker deferred live cattle futures.
LEAN HOGS - December was at 80.325 cents per lb, down 0.500 cent, while February was at 87.950 cents, down 0.775 cent.
* CME hogs dropped following weaker cash prices amid record heavy hog weights, an analyst said.
* USDA data on Wednesday showed hog weights in Iowa/Minnesota for the week ended last Saturday averaged 282.4 lbs. That was up 0.7 lb from the previous week and 7.5 lbs higher than a year earlier. The average weight in the region was at a record level for the sixth straight week.
* On Tuesday afternoon, USDA reported the closely watched Iowa/Minnesota hog market at $77.56 per cwt, down $1.86 from Monday.
* Midwest hogs on Wednesday traded mostly steady to down $1.00 per cwt. Many packers are full inventory-wise for the week amid heavier supplies, hog brokers said.
* Extremely cold temperatures in the U.S. Midwest could slow hog movement in portions of the region, traders said. (Reporting by Meredith Davis in Chicago; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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