LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle futures at two-month high on strong beef demand

CHICAGO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures reached a two-month high on Monday amid expectations for solid demand for beef, traders said. Gains in cash cattle prices last week helped support futures, traders said.

Meat packers killed an estimated 121,000 cattle at U.S. slaughtering plants on Monday, unchanged from a week ago, but up from 118,000 cattle last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The stronger cash and more aggressive kills over the past few weeks come as packers prep for what’s expected to be a solid holiday beef sales season, and still some very good ongoing export demand,” broker StoneX said in a note.

December live cattle futures ended up 0.300 cents at 132.100 cents per pound after reaching their highest price since Sept. 3 at 132.500 cents.

The most actively traded January feeder cattle contract advanced 0.700 cent to settle at 160.300 cents per pound. The contract earlier touched its highest price since Oct. 27 at 160.600.

In CME lean hog futures, the benchmark December contract settled 0.175 cents weaker at 76.375 cents per pound.

The wholesale U.S. pork carcass cutout price eased $1.49 to $96.86 per cwt, according to USDA data. Ham prices pulled back $8.87 to $66.86, after rising last week.

In China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, meat imports in October fell from a year ago to their lowest in 20 months as cheap domestic pork reduced demand for overseas supplies.

Meat shipments in the first 10 months of 2021 were 8.05 million tonnes, down 1.5% from last year’s volumes, Chinese customs data showed.

On Tuesday, traders will review a monthly USDA supply/demand report on grains that are used to feed livestock.

The USDA is expected to increase its projection for global 2021-22 soybean ending stocks from October and to trim its global corn and wheat carryout estimates. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)