Feb 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hogs traded lower on Thursday on deteriorating cash and wholesale pork prices, traders said.
* On Wednesday, CME Group announced it will close most of its open-outcry pits by July 2.
* At 8:53 a.m. CST (1453 GMT), lean hogs February was 0.925 cent lower at 64.175 cents per lb and set a contract low of 64.025 cents. April dropped 0.975 cent to 67.150 cents, and sank to a fresh contract low of 66.975 cents.
* Wednesday afternoon’s average market-ready, or cash, hog price in Iowa/Minnesota sank $1.39 per cwt from Tuesday to $63.48, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
* Separate USDA data showed Wednesday afternoon’s wholesale pork price at $74.68 per cwt, down $1.57 from Tuesday.
* Plentiful heavyweight hogs have allowed packers to cut cash bids, an analyst said.
* Prolonged West Coast port congestion has contributed to reduced pork exports, he said.
* The West Coast chief labor negotiator for shippers and terminal operators warned of possibly complete gridlock at ports.
* On Thursday, the USDA’s export data for the week ended Jan. 29 showed U.S. pork sales at 18,800 tonnes, mostly to Mexico, compared with 16,900 the previous week.
* LIVE CATTLE February was up 0.625 cent per lb at 153.625 cents, and April 0.650 cent higher at 149.300 cents.
* CME live cattle rose on short-covering and futures’ discounts to cash prices, traders said.
* So far, cash cattle in Kansas sold at $160 per cwt, steady to $1.50 higher than last week’s mostly $159 to $160.50 sales in the U.S. Plains, said feedlot sources.
* Remaining cash bids stood at $160 per cwt versus $162 asking prices, they said.
* Some packers are caught short on supplies, with frigid temperatures and wintry weather over the weekend expected to slow down animals’ weight gains, an analyst said.
* Other processors have reduced production to avoid spending more for cattle and improve their margins, he said.
* Thursday’s USDA export data showed U.S. beef sales at 14,000 tonnes, mostly to South Korea, compared with 10,000 in the previous week.
* FEEDER CATTLE - March was up 0.325 cent to 197.050 cents per lb, and April rose 0.175 cent to 197.025 cents.
* CME feeder cattle drew support from live cattle market advances and strong cash feeder cattle prices. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)