LIVESTOCK-Hog, cattle futures rise with wholesale meat prices

CHICAGO, May 6 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog and live cattle futures climbed on Thursday as U.S. wholesale prices increased.

Pork and beef are in high demand in supermarkets and restaurants as the distribution of federal stimulus checks has prompted consumers to spend more on food, analysts said. COVID-19 vaccinations and easing restrictions on businesses are also leading more people to eat out, they said.

Boxed beef choice cutout values jumped by $1.59 to $306.37 per cwt, while select cuts soared $3.18 to $289.36 per cwt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For pork, the cutout value increased by $1.95 per cwt to $113.86 per cwt, the USDA said.

A decline in average U.S. hog weights is contributing to tighter U.S. pork supplies at a time of strong sales, traders said. The average weight in the week ended May 1 was 285.1 pounds, down one pound from a week earlier and 6.3 pounds a year ago, according to USDA data.

Export demand remained solid. Pork export sales for the week ended April 29 reached 48,200 tonnes for 2021 delivery, up 36% from the previous week, according to the USDA.

Weekly U.S. beef export sales were 16,900 tonnes for 2021, down 28% from the previous week, the agency said.

CME most-active June lean hogs set a contract high of 115 cents per pound and settled up 0.050 cent at 114.475 cents per pound. July hogs set a contract high for the fifth consecutive day and ended up 0.175 cents at 114.650 cents per pound.

June live cattle futures advanced 1.050 cents to end at 115.475 cents per pound. The market has pulled back 8.1% from a contract high of 125.625 on April 8.

August feeder cattle futures tumbled 1.825 cents to 143.400 cents per pound and is down 11% from a contract high last month. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)