CME live cattle seen opening lower after USDA report

Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:51am EST

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Jan 27 (Reuters) - CME live cattle were expected to open lower on Monday following Friday's bearish U.S. Department of Agriculture monthly cattle-on-feed report, traders said.

* More young cattle than expected entered U.S. feedlots in December as cheaper feed gave feedyard operators a chance to break even or turn a slight profit, analysts and economists said following Friday's report.

* Weakening wholesale beef prices may discourage futures buyers, a trader said.

* CME live cattle futures' discount to last week's cash prices could limit market losses, he said.

* Another blast of cold air in the Midwest may slow down cattle-weight gains and delay the movement of hogs to packing plants, an analyst said.

* Conversely, meat demand could suffer if consumers stay home to avoid the bitterly cold weather, he said.

LIVE CATTLE - Called 0.300 cent to 0.600 cent per lb lower.

* Investors are unsure about this week's cash prices as lower wholesale beef values tighten packer margins, traders said.

* Last week, cash cattle in the U.S. Plains moved up to $150 per hundredweight (cwt), topping the previous week's record high of $144, feedlot sources said.

* Friday afternoon's wholesale choice beef price was $237.26 per cwt, down $1.29 from Thursday. Select cuts dropped 68 cents to $236.25, according to USDA data.

FEEDER CATTLE - Seen 0.200 to down 0.300 cent per lb lower.

* CME feeder cattle futures may follow the lower live cattle market.

* LEAN HOGS - Called steady to down 0.300 cent per lb.

* Friday's lower cash prices could initially pressure CME hog futures, traders said.

* They said the prospect that packers may need to raise cash hog bids as colder weather snarls transportation of supplies could limit futures losses.

* Speculators may continue to buy June and July hog futures with the view that the spread of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which is fatal to baby pigs, could reduce hog supplies this summer, analysts and traders said. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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