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CME live cattle futures move lower; hogs firm

CHICAGO - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures edged downward on Thursday, pressured by follow-though selling as investors await cash prices by week's end, traders said.

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Mikkel Pates, Agweek

CHICAGO  - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures edged downward on Thursday, pressured by follow-though selling as investors await cash prices by week's end, traders said.

* At 8:48 a.m. CDT (1348 GMT), August was down 0.250 cent per lb to 112.550 cents, and October was 0.350 cent lower at 112.750 cents.

* So far, market-ready, or cash, cattle bids surfaced in Kansas at $119 per cwt against $125 asking prices there and in Texas, said feedlot sources. Last week, cash cattle in the U.S. Plains fetched $120 to $122.

* Recent gains in wholesale beef values, and packers buying for the first full week of production after the Fourth of July holiday, could support cash prices, said traders and analysts.

* They said profitable margins may encourage packers to process as many animals as possible.

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* The afternoon wholesale choice beef price, or cutout, on Wednesday was up 25 cents per cwt to $209.08 from Tuesday on brisk volume sales. Select climbed $2.14 to $196.93, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* Investors are closely monitoring beef cutout values for seasonal indications of hot summer weather dampening meat demand.

* USDA's weekly beef and pork export report will be delayed until Friday due to Monday's holiday.

 

FEEDER CATTLE - August was down 0.600 cent per lb to 143.975 cents, on live cattle market weakness and corn price rebound.

 

LEAN HOGS - July lean hogs was up 0.025 cent per lb to 81.600 cents, and August was up 0.050 cent per lb to 80.675 cents.

* Wednesday's higher wholesale pork values and CME lean hog futures' discounts to the exchange's hog index for July 1 at 83.83 cents lifted contracts, traders said.

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* They said unexpectedly lower cash prices late on Wednesday capped futures advances.

* The afternoon wholesale pork price on Wednesday was 81 cents per cwt higher than on Tuesday at $90.07, the USDA said.

* Separate government data showed Wednesday afternoon's average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota at $78.85 per cwt, 92 cents lower than on Tuesday.

* Grocers are replenishing meat cases after good holiday product clearance, a trader said.

* Some packers cut cash bids after filling inventories for the rest of the week, but others still need hogs through early next week, an analyst said.

* Analysts and dealers forecasted a roughly 100,000-head Saturday slaughter as plants make up for Monday's holiday closures. 

Related Topics: LIVESTOCK
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