* Feeder cattle hits new highs
* Lean hogs finish flat/firmer
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, April 10 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle rose for a fourth consecutive session on
Monday, fueled by short-covering and futures' discounts to last
week's cash prices, said traders.
Last weekend's news that China offered to lift its ban on
U.S. beef helped spike Chicago Mercantile Exchange over 1
percent on Monday. But, futures have since slid from session
highs on skepticism whether the Chinese will follow through on
"There was some initial futures market optimism regarding
China. But now it's wait and see," said Brock Associates Inc.
analyst Doug Houghton.
April live cattle closed 1.050 cents per pound
higher at 121.100 cents, and June ended up 0.500 cent to
Last week, a small number of market-ready, or cash, cattle
in the U.S. Plains generally traded at $124 to $126 per cwt
versus mostly $128 to $130 a week earlier.
Market participants again expect softer cash prices this
week based on negative packer profits and seasonally slow
wholesale beef demand.
There are plenty of cattle for packers that are planning
closures over the Easter holiday. Less beef as a result of plant
disruptions could help reverse the almost two-week wholesale
beef price slide, said traders and analysts.
Monday afternoon's average wholesale beef price was up 24
cents per cwt to $207.46 from Friday. Select cuts dropped 89
cents to $196.60, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
CME feeder cattle landed in bullish territory for a
third straight session, and back months hit new highs, led by
strong cash feeder cattle prices and more live cattle futures
April feeder cattle closed 1.550 cents per pound
higher at 135.300 cents.
HOGS CLOSE FLAT/FIRMER
Deteriorating cash hog prices weighed on CME April lean
hogs, that were also felt pressure after investors sold the
contract and simultaneously bought deferred months, said
April hogs , which will expire on April 17, ended
unchanged at 63.325 cents. May closed up 0.350 cent to
69.350 cents. Most-actively traded June settled 0.500
cent higher at 73.275 cents.
Seasonally building supplies, and packers requiring fewer
hogs before plants close over the Easter holiday, continued to
drag down cash prices, said traders and analysts.
They said some grocers bought pork to avoid potential meat
shortages resulting from holiday plant closures.
U.S. government data on Monday afternoon showed the average
wholesale pork price up $1.42 per cwt from Friday to $76.70,
mostly because of $7.95 higher pork bellies.
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)