Feb 6 CME live cattle were firm on Thursday
while expectations of weak cash trade and lower wholesale beef
prices limited gains, traders and analysts said.
* Cold weather and snow packed roads around the U.S. Midwest
and Plains will slow livestock movement. Hog and cattle weight
gain will likely be affected by the cold temperatures.
* Weak wholesale beef prices have contributed to processors'
negative profit margins which will likely force them to bid
lower for cash cattle this week, traders said.
* Cash cattle bid stood at $139 per cwt, while $146 was the
asking price, a trader said.
LIVE CATTLE - At 8:50 a.m. CST (1450 GMT), February
was at 139.725 cents per lb, up 0.025 cent. April was at
139.275 cents, up 0.175 cent.
* Wednesday afternoon's wholesale choice beef price was
$216.64 per cwt, down $3.85 from Tuesday, and select cuts were
at $216.63, down $2.58 cents, according to USDA.
* Beef packer profit margins on Wednesday were estimated at
a negative $52.90 per head, compared with a negative $57.00 per
head on Tuesday and a positive $53.75 a week ago, according to
* U.S. weekly beef exports sales in current marketing year
totaled 8,100 tonnes.
FEEDER CATTLE - March was at 166.825 cents per lb,
down 0.100 cent. April was at 167.675 cents per lb, up
* Firm CME live cattle live cattle lent support, while
strengthening CBOT corn futures values dragged on CME feeder
* LEAN HOGS - February was at 86.550 cents per lb,
up 0.100 cent, while April was at 94.675 cents, down
* CME front month lean hogs contract February and CME April
contract were narrowly mixed after jumping to weekly highs a day
* Snow packed roads and cold temperatures will slow hog
movement as plants attempt to resume normal operations, cash hog
* Weather-induced delays will likely reduce slaughter weekly
slaughter volume again this week, the dealers said.
* On Wednesday USDA estimated week-to-date slaughter at
1.250 million head, down from 1.261 million head for the same
period last year.
* USDA pegged pork wholesale prices on Wednesday afternoon
at $91.43, down 9 cents from Tuesday.
* U.S. pork export sales for the week ended January 30 in
current marketing year totaled 6,600 tonnes, according to USDA
(Reporting by Meredith Davis in Chicago)