By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, Feb 9 Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures settled higher on Thursday, helped by technical
buying and this week's steady-to-firmer cash prices, said
traders and analysts.
They said the prospect of increased supplies capped
back-month futures advances.
February live cattle closed 0.875 cent per pound
higher at 117.650 cents, and above the 40-day moving average of
117.091 cents. April ended up 0.075 cent to 114.825
First-quarter cattle supplies will remain tight, but could
grow later based on two most recent U.S. Department of
Agriculture cattle reports, said U.S. Commodities President Don
This week, packers in the U.S. Plains bought
slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle at $119 to $120.50 per cwt,
steady to up $1.50 from last week, said feedlot sources.
Wednesday's Fed Cattle Exchange (FCE) sales ranged from $115
to $120.50 per cwt, with an average price of $117.50 versus last
week's $119 average.
Prices for cattle on a live basis in the North were lower
than in the South because of recent weather issues that resulted
in animals with mud on them, said Roose.
Cattle carrying mud increases live weight and costs packers
valuable time in cleaning the animal before processing.
Investors are closely monitoring heavy snow in the Northeast
United States that could hurt meat demand in the nation's most
Thursday morning's choice wholesale beef price was down 34
cents per cwt to $189.09 from Wednesday. Select cuts dropped 40
cents to $186.09, the USDA said.
Fund buying and late-day live cattle futures gains rallied
CME feeder cattle contracts.
March feeders closed 1.325 cents per pound higher at
MOSTLY LOWER HOG CLOSE
Investors sold deferred month CME lean hogs and
simultaneously bought the February contract stirred by
upward-trending cash prices, said traders.
They said profit-taking and increased hog production in the
coming months further pressured back months.
February hogs ended 0.875 cent per lb higher at
74.225 cents, and hit a new contract high of 74.350 cents.
Most actively traded April closed 0.950 cent lower
at 70.775 cents, and May down 0.925 cent to 74.800
Thursday morning's cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota averaged
$70.60 per cwt, 48 cents higher than on Wednesday, the USDA
"Huge demand by packers is overcoming the big supplies,"
He added that overall pork demand remained good according to
last month's USDA cold storage data that showed record tight
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Peter Cooney)