April 5, 2012 / 1:57 PM / 5 years ago

CME cattle, hogs rise on short-covering before Easter

April 5 (Reuters) - CME live cattle and hog futures were
firmer early Thursday after those who recently placed shorts
covered their positions before the Easter holiday weekend.	
    * Traders and analysts expected a choppy day of trading in
both pits due to typically light pre-holiday volume.	
    * "Nobody wants to have any big positions on either way with
three days to think about it," a CME cattle trader said. Plus,
you don't know what you're walking into come Monday with the
European debt thing still hanging over our heads."	
    * The stock market extended losses Thursday morning and the
dollar gained ground amid euro zone economic worries that were
offset by strong U.S. jobless claims data.	
        	
    LIVE CATTLE - At 8:35 a.m. CDT (1335 GMT), April up
0.325 cent at 118.225 cents per lb and June up 0.150 cent
at 115.275cents.       	
    * Speculative buyers are attracted to futures that are under
valued based on cash prices this week at mostly $122 to $123 per
cwt. That was $3 per lower than last week.	
    * Also those who willing bought into market breaks were
encouraged by government beef export sales. The data showed net
sales at 13,200 tonnes, mostly to Mexico, compared with 9,700
tonnes a week ago.     	
    * Bearish traders cited still extremely negative packer
margins. Also wholesale beef prices remained under duress from
fallout over what critics dubbed "pink slime." 	
    * "It's the same turmoil in that we continue to see some
market liquidation and the cutout remains sharply lower. The up
in the market today is meaningless without fundamentals to
support it," an analyst said.	
    * USDA Wednesday afternoon estimated the average price for
choice beef at wholesale at $180.64 per cwt, down $2.45. Select
cuts fell $2.54 to $178.37. Sales volume was 182 carloads, the
most since 272 on March 28. 	
	
    FEEDER CATTLE - April up 0.125 cent at 148.800 cents
per lb and May up 0.200 cent at 148.400 cents.     	
    * Futures firmed on pre-weekend short-covering and their
discount to CME's feeder cattle index at 152.91 cents.	
	
     LEAN HOGS - April up 0.650 cent per lb at 84.500
cents and June up 0.675 cent at 93.350 cents.           	
    * Futures were turned higher on short-covering ahead of the
long holiday weekend.	
    * Traders were also optimistic that supermarket would show
interest in pork for grilling specials after Easter. 	
    * Meanwhile, packers curbed bids for cash hogs amid ample
supplies and unprofitable margins.	
	
 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters)

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