CME live cattle drop on profit taking, hogs mixed
Dec 24 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle turned lower on Tuesday, pressured by profit-taking ahead of the Christmas holiday, traders said.
* CME livestock futures will close at noon CST (1800 GMT) on Tuesday in observance of the upcoming holiday.
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture Monday afternoon issued the monthly cold storage report. The agency reported November beef stocks at 445.0 million lbs, up 1 percent from the month before and a year earlier.
* Beef stocks gained slightly last month, but it usually takes a more dramatic swing to move the futures market, an analyst said.
LIVE CATTLE - At 8:38 a.m. CST (1438 GMT), December was at 132.200 cents per lb, 0.500 cent lower. February was at 133.525 cents, down 0.425 cent.
* There were no cash cattle bids or asking prices reported by feedlot sources.
* Packers will likely wait until Thursday or Friday to buy cattle because of Wednesday's holiday, traders said.
* Investors look for cash to trade about steady with last week.
* A week ago, cash cattle in the U.S. Plains moved at mostly $130 per cwt, feedlot sources said.
* Fewer cattle for sale this week may lend cash support. But tepid beef demand and negative packer margins could weigh on cash.
* And processors will need fewer cattle with packing plants scheduled to be closed at least one day each week over the next two weeks due to the year-end holidays.
* FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 166.125 cents per lb, down 0.550 cent. March was at 166.750 cents per lb, down 0.350 cent.
* CME feeder cattle followed the weak live cattle market.
* Benchmark Oklahoma City market feeder cattle prices will be unavailable Dec. 23-24 and Dec. 30-31. The stockyards there will be closed during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
LEAN HOGS - February was at 86.125 cents per lb, down 0.075 cent, while April was at 91.100 cents, up 0.150 cent.
* CME hogs traded mixed in choppy action, stirred by position evening ahead of the holiday, trader said.
* Late-Monday's cash hog and wholesale pork values offered no fundamental direction for futures investors.
* Hog prices in the Midwest on Monday traded steady, hog dealers said.
* Not enough hogs moved on Monday in the direct markets to establish prices, a trader said. Monday's wholesale price was down marginally as the end of the ham buying season approaches, he said.
* USDA reported last month's pork inventories at 546.3 million lbs, down 3 percent from October and down 2 percent from last year.
* November pork belly stocks at 48.3 million lbs jumped 81 percent from the month before and surged 103 percent from a year ago.
* "This is typically the time of year when bellies go into storage for summer use. And record-heavy hogs in November landed more bellies in storage," an analyst said.
* (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; editing by Jim Marshall)
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