* Feeder cattle closes flat-firmer
* Lean hogs again hit 6-month lows
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, April 19 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle futures rose on Wednesday for the ninth
consecutive session, and hit a one-year high for a second day in
a row, after cash prices exceeded expectations, traders said.
April live cattle closed 1.150 cents per pound
higher at 127.925 cents, and June up 0.300 cent at
On Wednesday packers in the U.S. Plains paid $130 to $133
per cwt for market-ready, or cash, cattle that last week brought
mostly $128, said feedlot sources.
Cattle at Wednesday morning's Fed Cattle Exchange, on
average, fetched $128.62 per cwt up from last week's lightly
traded $126 average.
"The retailer is buying meat and he's not afraid to spend
money to do it. That has given the packer the confidence to go
out a pay up for cattle," said CHS Hedging analyst Steve Wagner.
He also cited lower cattle weights, which suggests ranchers
in parts of the Plains are sending animals to feedlots in a
Wednesday morning's average wholesale beef price dropped 91
cents per cwt to $215.08 from Tuesday. Select cuts were up 31
cents to $202.51, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
CME feeder cattle futures' premiums to the exchange's feeder
cattle index for April 18 at 136.64 cents weighed on the April
Remaining feeder cattle contracts drew support from firmer
deferred-month live cattle futures.
April feeder cattle closed unchanged at 138.675
cents per pound. May ended up 0.250 cent to 140.325
cents and August 0.775 cent higher at 142.950 cents.
HOGS AGAIN HIT 6-MONTH LOW
Downward-trending cash prices and Wednesday's soft wholesale
pork values pressed CME lean hog contracts to six-month
lows for a second straight day, said traders.
Thinly traded May closed 1.275 cents per pound lower
at 65.875 cents. Most-actively traded June ended 1.550
cents lower at 69.950 cents.
Near-term supplies remain plentiful as packers process a
backlog of hogs resulting from plant closures over the Easter
holiday, said traders and analysts.
They said ample seasonal hog numbers has periodically
allowed grocers to buy pork at lower cost as the spring grilling
season goes into high gear.
Wednesday morning's average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota
was at $55.93 per cwt, 98 cents lower than on Tuesday, the USDA
U.S. government data on Wednesday morning showed the average
wholesale pork price down 36 cents per cwt from Tuesday to
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by David Gregorio)