* Live cattle closes lower
* Feeder cattle falls hard
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, March 30 Chicago Mercantile Exchange
lean hogs finished higher on Thursday, with strength from
bargain buying prior to what turned out to be a neutral U.S.
government hog report after futures closed, said traders.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's quarterly hog report
showed a record-large March 1 herd, with most of the data close
Buy stops and technical buying furthered market gains, said
traders and analysts.
April hogs ended up 0.325 cent per pound to 65.625
cents, and above the 200-day moving average of 65.479 cents. May
finished 1.025 cents higher at 70.500 cents.
"Analysts did such a good job of anticipating the numbers in
this report, I do not see much in the way of impact," said CME
livestock futures trader Dan Norcini.
He said investors will mainly focus on cash prices and signs
of retailers pork buying for spring and summer grilling.
Thursday afternoon's average price for slaughter-ready, or
cash, hogs in Iowa/Minnesota was $63.20 per cwt, down 93 cents
from Wednesday, the USDA said.
Government data showed the average U.S. wholesale pork price
fell $1.04 per cwt from Wednesday to $75.18, mainly due to $3.30
lower pork butt or pork shoulder cuts.
CATTLE FUTURES TURN LOWER
CME live cattle futures reversed some of Wednesday's gains,
following tepid wholesale beef demand that threatens remaining
cash prices, said traders.
They said sell stops and fund liquidation exacerbated
April live cattle closed 1.350 cents per pound lower
at 120.000 cents, and June ended 0.975 cent lower at
Both contracts settled below their respective 10-day moving
average of 120.765 and 111.572 cents.
Thursday afternoon's average wholesale beef price fell $1.71
per cwt lower from Wednesday at $215.21. Select cuts sank $2.21
to $208.05, the USDA said.
Cash cattle bids in the U.S. Plains ranged from $126 to
$128 per cwt against $132-plus asking prices. Cash cattle last
week in the U.S. Plains brought mostly $130 to $134.50.
Wednesday's Fed Cattle Exchange resulted in $131.17 per cwt
average prices, down from last week's $133.35 average.
Tighter packer profits and seasonal beef demand slowdown are
expected to pressure remaining cash prices, said traders and
Profit-taking, technical selling and lower live cattle
futures sank CME feeder cattle.
March feeder cattle , which expired at noon CDT (1700
GMT), ended down 0.625 cent per pound to 132.675 cents. Most
actively traded April closed 1.850 cents lower at
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; editing by Diane Craft)