CHICAGO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - CME Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Thursday edged downward, pressured by Wednesday’s lower cash and wholesale beef prices, said traders.
* They said futures’ discounts to those early-week prices for slaughter-ready, or cash, values minimized market losses.
* At 09:38 a.m. CDT (1438 GMT) October was 0.650 cent per pound lower at 96.100 cents, and December down 0.250 to 97.750 cents.
* So far, packers in the northern U.S. Plains paid $98 to $99 per cwt for cash cattle, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their data includes auctions at the newly-established Fed Cattle Exchange.
* Last week, cash cattle in the Plains fetched $101 to $103 per cwt.
* Ample meat and cattle supplies remain a drag on cash prices, said analysts and traders. They said that at least one processor is scheduled to be closed on Thursday or Friday for maintenance.
* An analyst said southern U.S. meat demand has suffered in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. And grocers generally are buying small amounts of beef to round out meat cases while focusing more on October Pork Month, he added.
* USDA’s weekly meat export report for beef and pork is delayed until Friday because of the Columbus Day holiday.
FEEDER CATTLE - October was 0.925 cent per pound lower at 121.075 cents, on residual selling and weaker live cattle futures.
LEAN HOGS - October, which will expire on Friday, was up 0.300 cent per pound to 52.675 cents. Most-actively traded December was 0.825 cent higher at 44.875 cents.
* CME lean hog futures were supported by Wednesday’s firmer cash and wholesale pork prices, said traders.
* A few packers are filling gaps in inventory heading into the weekend, while wholesale pork sales remain decent in the midst of Pork Month, a trader said.
* Smithfield Foods resumed partial operations on Thursday at its N.C. plants and, running at full capacity at the Virginia facility, as they recover from the impact of Hurricane Matthew, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.
* “They (Smithfield) have a long way to go in cleaning up the backlog of hogs there from the storm. It will be interesting to see whether they’re able to go big on Saturday to makeup the some of that downtime,” the trader said. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago)