* Feeder cattle futures end mixed
* USDA cattle report mildly bearish for futures Monday
* Lean hog contracts post more losses
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, April 21 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle notched a one-year high for a fourth
consecutive session on Friday, bolstered by improved wholesale
beef demand and futures' discounts to this week's cash prices,
Analysts viewed the U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly
Cattle-On-Feed report, issued after the market closed, as mildly
bearish for futures on Monday.
The report showed U.S. cattle ranchers in March placed 11.0
percent more cattle into feedlots than a year ago in a record
high for the month.
"Some people are still focused on this strong wholesale beef
market and exciting situation with the market hitting new
highs," said Allendale Inc chief strategist Rich Nelson,
explaining why traders might take Friday's bearish report in
Friday afternoon's average wholesale beef price climbed
$1.44 per cwt to $217.16 from Thursday. Select cuts rose 32
cents to $203.89, the USDA said.
Packers this week paid $130 to $133 per cwt for cattle, as
much as $5 higher than last week given good beef demand, tight
cattle supplies and profitable packer margins.
Investors may expect steady-to-better cash prices next week
as long as beef demand holds up, said traders and analysts.
On Monday USDA will issue the monthly cold storage report at
2 p.m. CDT (1900 GMT) that will include March total beef and
A few analysts, on average, projected last month's total
beef stocks at 491.8 million pounds and 546.1 million for pork.
CME feeder cattle April futures tracked the exchange's
feeder cattle index for April 20 at 138.05, but profit-taking
pressured the May contract.
April feeder cattle ended 0.650 cent per pound
higher at 138.550 cents. Actively-traded May ended 0.500
cent lower at 139.250 cents.
HOGS AGAIN HIT NEW LOWS
CME May lean hogs slumped to a fresh contract low, and
deferred contracts again racked up new monthly lows, pressured
by their premiums to the exchange's hog index for April 19 at
61.59 cents, said traders.
They also said futures prices may be over-valued based on
current cash hog prices.
May closed 0.775 cent per pound lower at 63.025
cents, and posted a new contract low of 62.500 cents.
Most-actively traded June ended down 0.350 cent at
68.325 cents, its lowest since Oct. 3, 2016.
Fallen futures reflect farmers being paid less for their
animals as supplies grew seasonally and after packers closed
plants during the Easter holiday, said traders.
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Tom Brown)