CME live cattle futures edge lower with beef prices
Dec 13 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle slipped Friday on profit taking following Thursday's lower wholesale beef prices, traders said.
* Late on Thursday, the wholesale choice beef price was at $200.45 per cwt, down $2.16 from Wednesday, and select cuts fell 48 cents to $186.62, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
* No live cattle deliveries were reported by the CME late on Wednesday against the December contract which expires on Dec. 31.
* Cold weather is expected to continue through at least the balance of the year in the U.S. Midwest which will prevent normally smooth transfer of farm products and other goods, an agricultural meteorologist said on Friday.
LIVE CATTLE - At 9:32 a.m. CST (1532 GMT), December was at 132.050 cents per lb, down 0.200 cent. February was at 132.950 cents, down 0.150 cent.
* Investors look for cash cattle to trade steady this week as packers cope with pork packer margins and tepid beef demand.
* Beef packer margins on Friday were at a negative $54.40 per head, compared with a negative $42.10 on Thursday and a negative $39.00 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.
* Cash cattle bids in Texas stood at $129 per cwt and $130 in Kansas, feedlot sources said. They said sellers asked $133 to $134 for their animals in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska.
* Last week, cash cattle in Kansas and Texas traded at $132 per cwt, with sales of $131 to $132 in Nebraska, the feedlot sources said.
* Packers may slow slaughter of cattle to reduce beef production in an effort to boost the wholesale prices, a trader said.
* FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 167.300 cents per lb, up 0.225 cent. March was at 166.925 cents per lb, up 0.375 cent.
* CME feeder cattle gained on follow-through buying after reaching a two-month high on Thursday.
* Weaker corn prices provided more feeder cattle futures support.
LEAN HOGS - December was at 81.300 cents per lb, down 0.025 cent, while February was at 87.500 cents, down 0.500 cent.
* CME December hogs are led by the exchange's hog index at 81.15 cents. The December contract will expire on Friday at noon CST (1800 GMT).
* Profit taking and the drop in Thursday's wholesale pork price weakened other CME hog futures, traders said.
* USDA reported wholesale pork price, or cutout, on Thursday afternoon at $88.13 per cwt, down $2.27 from Wednesday, in part due to lower ham costs.
* The holiday ham buying season is coming to an end, which is pulling down the cutout, an analyst said.
* Firm cash hog prices limited futures losses.
* On Thursday afternoon, USDA reported the closely watched Iowa/Minnesota hog market at $78.72 per cwt, up 46 cents from Wednesday.
* Midwest hogs traded mostly steady on Friday with packers still buying hogs for next week, hog brokers said. (Reporting by Meredith Davis in Chicago; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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