* Live cattle finishes flat/mixed
* Feeder cattle ends mostly firmer
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, Feb 6 Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean
hog February futures scored a fresh contract high and deferred
contracts scored monthly highs on Monday, fueled by firmer cash
and wholesale pork values, said traders.
February hogs ended 1.025 cents per lb higher at
71.350 cents, and hit a new contract high of 71.425 cents.
April ended 0.975 cent higher at 71.225 cents, a
Monday morning's slaughter-ready, or cash, hog price in
Iowa/Minnesota averaged $67.63 per cwt in light volume, up $1.01
from Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
Separate USDA data showed the average wholesale pork price
jumped $1.55 per cwt to $86.01 from Friday, with price increases
for all categories listed except ribs.
"Packers have made good money for a long time while moving
product, so they want to maintain the flow of hogs," a Midwest
hog dealer said.
Tyson Foods Inc reported a 28.6 percent rise in
quarterly profit, helped by higher exports of beef and pork and
lower livestock costs.
Analysts and traders said some supermarkets and restaurants
might be close to finalizing pork purchases for Valentine's Day
FLAT/MIXED LIVE CATTLE
CME live cattle futures closed steady to narrowly mixed
after investors adjusted positions while waiting for cash cattle
to change hands this week, said traders.
February live cattle closed 0.475 cent per pound
lower at 116.425 cents, April unchanged at 115.625 cents
and June up 0.175 cent to 105.825 cents.
Some packers curbed production to avoid paying more than
last week for supplies while grappling their poor margins and
However, other processors may take advantage of reduced
slaughter rates, which tends to send retailers scrambling for
Last week, packers paid $119 per cwt for cash cattle that
fetched $122 a week earlier.
Monday's average beef packer margins were a negative $59.75
per head, down from negative $57.05 on Friday, as calculated by
Choice wholesale beef price was up 65 cents per cwt at
$192.05. Select cuts were rose 29 cents to $190.22, the USDA
CME March feeder cattle was pressured by soft February live
Other months were supported by higher cash feeder cattle
March feeders closed down 0.050 cent per pound at
123.525 cents. April ended up 0.075 cent at 123.575
cents and May up 0.175 cent at 122.550 cents.
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Marguerita Choy)