CME live cattle dip in choppy action, hogs mostly lower

Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:47am EDT

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March 19 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle
slipped on Wednesday in choppy trading, pressured by
profit-taking while investors  await this week's cash trade,
traders said.
    * They said profit-taking affected most CME hog futures
while Tuesday's higher cash and wholesale pork prices lifted the
April contract.
                                
    LIVE CATTLE -  At 8:38 a.m. CDT (1338 GMT), April was
at 145.625 cents per lb, down 0.075 cent, and June was
down 0.200 cent at 138.150 cents.
    *  "The market will be on edge until we get a cash trade
going," trader said.
    * Tuesday's record-high wholesale beef prices and positive
packer margins could support cash cattle prices this week,
traders and analysts said.
    * They said packers will continue to reduce slaughter rates
to limit cash spending. 
    * Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at $148
per cwt, and $151 to $152 in Nebraska, feedlot sources said.
                        
    FEEDER CATTLE - March was down 0.175 cent at 173.950
cents per lb, and April was down 0.200 cent at 176.700
cents.
    * CME live cattle weakness pressured feeder cattle futures.
        
    * LEAN HOGS - April were up 0.125 cent at 123.350
cents per lb. June was at 132.000 cents, down 1.000 cent,
and July dropped 0.400 cent to 127.550 cents.
    * Cash hog and wholesale pork price advances amid tight
supplies lifted April CME hog futures, a trader said.
    * Packers bought hogs and processors are stockpiling pork in
the event of a severe supply shortage this summer as the deadly
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) spreads on U.S. farms.
    * Profit-taking undercut deferred hog months, a trader said.
    * Investors simultaneously sold June and July hog futures
and bought the April contract stirred by current cash price
strength, he said. 
    * USDA data on Wednesday showed hog weights in
Iowa/Minnesota for the week ended last Saturday averaged 283.0
lbs. That was up 0.9 lb from the previous week and 6.0 lbs
higher than a year earlier. 
   * Some packers are accepting heavier hogs to offset the loss
in production from the PEDv virus, an analyst said.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Stephen
Powell)
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