January 13, 2014 / 3:01 PM / in 4 years

CME live cattle futures seen opening firm; hogs mixed

Jan 13 (Reuters) - CME live cattle futures were expected to open firm on Monday, led by residual buying following Friday’s record-high cash and wholesale beef prices, traders and analysts said.

* CME live cattle and hog futures investors are keeping tabs on a warmer weather in the central Plains that could allow cattle to gain weight quickly.

* Warmer temperatures will help thaw snow-covered county roads in the Midwest, making it safer to transport more livestock to market.

* Potential profit-taking amid caution about cash cattle and beef prices for this week may limit futures’ advances.

* CME live cattle are technically overbought based on their Relative Strength Index reading of 73.92. The market is considered overbought and subject to a downward adjustment with a RSI above 70.

* Funds are expected to sell, or roll, February cattle and hog futures and mainly buy the April contract in accordance with a process known as the “roll” by followers of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (S&PGSCI). Monday is the fourth of five days for the S&PGSCI process.

LIVE CATTLE - Called 0.200 to 0.300 cent per lb higher.

* Traders could have a delayed reaction to Friday’s cash cattle and prices that hit record highs after pit trading had closed, an analyst said.

* Last Friday, cash cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at $139 to $140 per hundredweight (cwt), surpassing the prior week’s $137 to $138 record, feedlot sources said.

* Three weeks of record-high cash prices confirms scarce cattle supplies, which forced packers to raise beef costs to end users, a trader said.

FEEDER CATTLE - Seen up 0.200 to 0.300 cent per lb.

* Possible CME live cattle buying and short-covering may lift feeder cattle market.

* January CME cattle’s discount to the exchange’s feeder cattle index at 171.60 cents may encourage buyers.

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

* Lower cash hog and wholesale pork prices may pressure CME hogs, while anticipation of both markets bottoming out soon may lend support to futures, traders said.

* Some processors have all the hogs they need into Wednesday, a trader said. Others are trying to replenish inventories after last week’s storm reduced supplies, he said.

* Record-high prices for beef may cause grocers to turn to cheaper protein alternatives, including pork and chicken, an analyst said. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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