CME live cattle futures seen opening mixed, hogs firm
Jan 2 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures were expected to open mixed on Thursday, supported by Tuesday's higher wholesale beef prices but pressured by cash uncertainty, traders and analysts said.
* CME live cattle and hog futures traders are keeping an eye on wintry weather moving across much of the country.
* Snow-packed roads could snarl the movement of cattle and hogs to market, which could underpin cash prices, a trader said.
* Conversely, beef and pork demand could suffer if the storm keep consumers away from supermarkets and restaurants, he said.
LIVE CATTLE - Called up 0.200 to down 0.200 cent per lb.
* No cash cattle bids or asking prices were reported by feedlot sources for this week.
* Last week, cash cattle in Texas moved at mostly $133.50 per hundredweight (cwt), feedlot sources said. They reported sales of mostly $133 in Kansas and $135 in Nebraska a week ago.
* Improved demand for beef at wholesale is supportive for cash prices this week.
* Tuesday afternoon's wholesale choice beef price gained 94 cents per cwt to $200.65, and select climbed 95 cents to $196.41, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
* And, packers need cattle for the first full week of production after the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
* Some processors may cutback slaughter rates to limit cash spending and recoup lost margins.
FEEDER CATTLE - Seen narrowly mixed.
* CME feeder cattle could follow the possible mixed live cattle market.
* LEAN HOGS - Called 0.100 to 0.300 cent per lb higher.
* Expectations of higher cash hog values and Tuesday's wholesale pork price upturn are supportive CME hog market factors, traders said.
* Hogs in the Midwest on Thursday traded steady to $1.00 per cwt higher, according to hog dealers.
* Tuesday afternoon's average price of cash hogs in the Western Midwest region was $77.06 per cwt, up 9 cents from Monday, according to USDA. The price of hogs in the eastern Midwest was $1.86 higher at $77.99.
* Packers are buying hogs for an expected big Saturday slaughter to make up for plants that were closed on Wednesday's holiday, an analyst said.
* Grocers are stocking up on pork items other than hams to feature over the next few weeks, he said.
* The government's Tuesday afternoon wholesale pork price rose 74 cents per cwt to $84.37, USDA said. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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