By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, March 13 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle on Monday rose for a fourth consecutive
session, with strength from buy stops and futures' discounts to
last week's cash prices, said traders.
They said profit-taking and caution ahead of this week's
cash returns pulled contracts from session highs.
Monday was the final day in which CME livestock market funds
that follow the Standard & Poor's Goldman Sachs Commodity Index
(SPGSCI) rolled their April long positions mostly into June.
April live cattle closed up 0.150 cent per pound to
117.750 cents, and June was 0.600 cent higher at 108.100
Last week slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S.
Plains brought $121 to $127 per cwt, compared to mostly $124 to
$126 a week ago.
Some packers paid more for cattle last week given their
extremely profitable margins and solid wholesale beef demand,
said analysts and traders.
They said some investors considered wintry weather in parts
of the upper U.S. Plains supportive for cash and wholesale beef
prices this week because of potential disruptions to livestock
Still, one analyst pointed out that heavy snow aiming for
the densely populated Northeastern region of the country might
hurt meat demand there.
Monday afternoon's choice wholesale beef price was up 72
cents per cwt to $220.55 from Friday. Select cuts rose $1.34 to
$212.33, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
Monday's average beef packer margins were a positive $121.40
per head, up from a positive $91.00 on Friday, as calculated by
HOGS FINISH SHARPLY HIGHER
Monday morning's firmer cash and wholesale pork prices sent
CME lean hogs up sharply, said traders.
They said technical buying furthered market advances.
April hogs ended 2.050 cents per pound higher at
70.225 cents, and above the 40-day moving average of 69.111
cents. May closed up 1.850 cents to 74.750 cents, and
above the 20-day and 40-day moving average convergence of 74.115
Monday afternoon's average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota
was $68.05 per cwt, $1.04 higher than on Friday, the USDA said.
Separate U.S. government data on Monday afternoon showed the
average wholesale pork price up 48 cents per cwt to $82.36 from
Some traders said a potential hog production slowdown
resulting from blizzard conditions in parts of the Midwest drove
up cash prices, which in turn boosted futures.
But Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale Inc, said
talk about the snowstorm's impact on hog futures may have been
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Chris Reese)