CME live cattle trade mixed, hogs turn higher

Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:52am EST

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Dec 17 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle on Tuesday traded mixed in choppy action, supported by improved wholesale beef prices while profit-taking pressured futures, traders said.

* The Monday afternoon wholesale choice beef price rose $1.08 from Friday to $199.97 per cwt. Select items gained $1.40 to $188.41, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

* East Coast grocers may be restocking their freezers after recent bouts of wintry weather in the region curbed meat demand, a trader said.

LIVE CATTLE - At 8:30 a.m. CST (1430 GMT), December was at 132.075 cents per lb, up 0.075 cent. February was at 133.400 cents, down 0.100 cent.

* Packers will need fewer cattle while buying for shortened work weeks during the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays, traders and analysts said.

* They said fewer cattle up for sale this week and better wholesale beef demand are supportive cash market factors.

* Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at $131 per cwt, and sales of $130 to $131 were reported in Nebraska, feedlot sources said.

* Some processors reduced slaughter rates to boost wholesale values and recoup lost margins.

* FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 168.025 cents per lb, down 0.400 cent. March was at 167.000 cents per lb, 0.375 cent lower.

* Feeder cattle slipped on profit taking and weak deferred-month live cattle futures.

LEAN HOGS - February was at 86.775 cents per lb, up 0.150 cent, while April was at 91.150 cents, up 0.075 cent.

* Short-covering and Monday's wholesale pork price upswing lifted CME hogs, traders said.

* Monday afternoon's wholesale pork price, or cutout, jumped $4.16 per cwt to $91.14 per cwt, with ham costs climbing $7.42, USDA said.

* A trader attributed Monday's cutout bounce primarily to last minute fill-in ham buying by end users for Christmas.

* Lower trending cash hog prices limited CME hog futures advances.

* USDA data on Monday afternoon quoted the average price of hogs in the closely watched Iowa/Minnesota market at $75.50 per cwt, $3.34 lower than Friday.

* Packers need less supplies as they prepare to close plants for at least one day next week for the Christmas holiday. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago)

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