* Live cattle closes lower
* Feeder cattle falls hard
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, March 27 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hog future's selloff last Friday carried over into Monday
, led by fund liquidation and weaker cash prices, said
April hogs ended 1.625 cents per pound lower at
65.650 cents, and below the 100-day moving average of 66.744
cents. May finished 1.900 cents lower at 70.325 cents,
and below the 200-day moving average of 71.529 cents.
Packers paid less for hogs that are plentiful, said traders
and analysts. Investor jitters seeped into the market in advance
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's quarterly hog report on
Thursday, they said.
Monday morning's average price for slaughter-ready, or cash,
hogs in Iowa/Minnesota was $65.90 per cwt in light volume, down
77 cents from Friday, the USDA said.
Weaker cash prices and firmer wholesale pork values, amid
spring grilling and Easter ham business, enhanced packer
Monday's average pork packer margins were a positive $21.65
per head, up from a positive $17.85 on Friday, as calculated by
U.S. government data on Monday morning showed the average
wholesale pork price climbed $1.40 per cwt from Friday to
$79.88, with higher prices for all categories listed except
CATTLE MARKETS STUMBLE
Sell stops, profit-taking and softer wholesale beef prices
sent CME live cattle contracts lower, said traders.
April live cattle closed 1.025 cents per pound lower
at 121.075 cents, and June 1.400 cents lower at 111.450
Monday morning's average wholesale beef price, or cutout,
fell $1.99 per cwt to $219.63 from Friday. Select slipped 3
cents to $215.52, the USDA said.
Last week, market-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S. Plains
fetched mostly $130 to $134.50 per cwt, compared to $128 to $131
a week earlier.
Some market participants doubt that packers will bid up for
cattle this week while drawing from substantial numbers of
animals contracted against the futures market, said Schwieterman
Inc broker Domenic Varricchio.
Investors are closely eyeing beef cutout values for signs of
product prices possibly topping out seasonally, he said.
Live cattle futures selling dragged down CME feeder cattle
March feeder cattle ended down 1.225 cents per pound
to 132.150 cents, and April 2.475 cents lower at
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by David Gregorio)