December 31, 2013 / 3:02 PM / 4 years ago

CME live cattle rise with strong beef quotes

Dec 31 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Tuesday gained for a fourth consecutive session, lifted by higher wholesale beef prices, traders and analysts said.

* They said anticipation of steady cash cattle prices this week encouraged futures buyers.

* CME livestock markets will trade their normal hours on New Year’s eve.

* Positioning on the final day of trading for 2013 and thin holiday market volume could result in a volatile session.

* There were no live cattle deliveries reported by the CME late on Monday against the December contract that will expire on Tuesday at noon CST (1800 GMT).

LIVE CATTLE - At 8:47 a.m. CST (1447 GMT), December futures were at 134.750 cents per lb, up 0.350 cent. February was at 135.375 cents, 0.275 cent higher.

* No cash cattle bids or asking prices were reported by feedlot sources.

* Last week, cash cattle in Texas sold at mostly $133.50 per hundredweight (cwt), feedlots sources said. They reported sales of mostly $133 in Kansas and $135 in Nebraska a week ago.

* Packers paid record prices for cattle last week despite their poor margins and holiday-shortened work weeks, which suggest they need supplies, a trader said.

* Grocers scrambled to buy beef that is in short supply after plants closed during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, he said.

* Processors are expected to reduce slaughter rates in the near term to offset tight numbers of cattle and improve their margins.

* FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 167.450 cents per lb, up 0.175 cent. March was at 168.000 cents per lb, up 0.050 cent.

* CME feeder cattle drew support from the firm live cattle market.

* Benchmark Oklahoma City market feeder cattle prices will be unavailable Dec. 30 and 31 because of the New Year’s holiday.

LEAN HOGS - February was at 85.075 cents per lb, up 0.100 cent, while April was at 90.250 cents, down 0.200 cent.

* Monday’s cash hog and wholesale pork price gains stirred bullish spreads that underpinned February CME hogs and pressured the April contract, traders said.

* Packers are buying hogs for Saturday’s production to make up for Wednesday’s holiday down time, which provided cash support, a trader said.

* He said retailers are purchasing fresh pork to feature in early January.

Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Kenneth Barry

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