CHICAGO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures turned lower on Tuesday after investors pocketed profits after recent gains while awaiting cash prices later in the week, said traders.
* At 09:35 a.m. CDT (1435 GMT) October was 0.800 cent per pound lower at 96.475 cents, and December down 0.400 cent to 98.700 cents.
* Early-week cash sales at smaller sale barns in the U.S. Plains were $96 to $100 per cwt, said industry sources. Last week the bulk of slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle brought $97 to $98.
* Extremely profitable packer margins and 7,400 fewer cattle for sale than last week might embolden feedlots to hold out for more money, said traders and analysts.
* They said wholesale beef values may be close to bottoming out as supermarkets consider featuring other meat proteins after the conclusion of October Pork Month.
* Those in the cash and futures markets will pay a bit more attention to the newly-established Fed Cattle Exchange (FCE) that will have close to 13,400 head of cattle for sale on Wednesday, an analyst said.
* The number cattle for sale on the FCE is growing, but 40,000 to 60,000 head may be needed to bring it closer in line with the number of animals typically sold over a 5-state region, an analyst said.
FEEDER CATTLE - October was 0.725 cent per pound lower at 120.975 cents, on profit-taking and live cattle market selling.
LEAN HOGS - December was up 0.250 cent per pound to 41.850 cents. February was down 0.050 cent to 48.875 cents, and April down 0.125 cent to 56.950 cents.
* CME December lean hogs was underpinned by Monday’s generally steady cash prices and higher wholesale pork values, said traders.
* They said investors bought December futures and simultaneously sold deferred contracts on worries that increased supplies in the coming months might strain slaughter capacity at that time.
* Monday’s USDA hog slaughter data suggests Smithfield Foods’ East Coast hog plants are fully operational after being idled by Hurricane Matthew.
* But some analysts and traders said it could take as long as a week for the hog industry to process as many as 200,000 hogs that may have backed up on southeastern U.S. farms as a result of the storm. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago)