CME live cattle, hog futures seen opening mixed

Mon Jan 6, 2014 9:51am EST

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Jan 6 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures were expected to open mixed on Monday, with support from Friday's wholesale beef price gains facing pressure from profit taking, traders and analysts said.

* CME live cattle and hog futures investors are keeping tabs on an Arctic blast that is gripping much of the country.

* Dangerous driving conditions and bone-chilling cold could reduce the movement of livestock to market and slow cattle weight gains, a trader said.

* There is concern that consumers may stay home to avoid the snow and cold, which could dent demand for beef and pork at supermarkets and restaurants, he said.

LIVE CATTLE - Called up 0.200 to down 0.200 cent per lb.

* "No one has a clear picture about cash prices and beef demand given some of the coldest temperatures some of us have ever seen," a cattle futures trader said.

* Most cattle in the Plains should be fine despite the extremely cold weather, but animal deaths are possible, he said.

* Last week, the bulk of cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at $137 per hundredweight (cwt) that topped the prior week's record of $133 to $136, feedlot sources said.

* Back-to-back holiday-shortened workweeks reduced the availability of fresh beef, driving up recent wholesale prices and supporting cash prices this week.

* Packers are expected to curtail slaughters to avoid higher cash cattle prices and improve their slumping margins, a negative cash factor.

FEEDER CATTLE - Seen 0.200 cent per lb higher to 0.200 cent lower.

* CME feeder cattle could track the potentially mixed live cattle market.

* LEAN HOGS - Called 0.200 cent per lb lower to 0.200 cent higher.

* Friday's lower cash hog and wholesale pork prices could pressure CME hogs, traders said.

* Friday afternoon's average price of cash hogs in the closely-followed Iowa/Minnesota region was $78.00 per cwt, 81 cents per cwt lower than on Thursday, according to USDA.

* The government's Friday afternoon wholesale pork price dropped $1.21 per cwt to $82.79, USDA said.

* Producers in the frozen Midwest may keep swine buildings closed to retain heat, a move that could force packers to hike cash hog bids, an analyst said. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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