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LIVESTOCK-Cash discounts lift CME live cattle futures
March 29, 2017 / 8:14 PM / 8 months ago

LIVESTOCK-Cash discounts lift CME live cattle futures

    * Feeder cattle end sharply higher
    * Hogs snap three-session losing streak

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, March 29 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
live cattle futures closed firmer on Wednesday, with support
from short-covering tied to futures' discounts to preliminary
cash prices, said traders.
    April live cattle         closed 0.575 cent per pound higher
at 121.350 cents, and June         up 0.250 cent to 111.850
    Market-ready, or cash, cattle at Wednesday morning's Fed
Cattle Exchange yielded an average of $131.17 per cwt, down from
last week's $133.35 average.
    On Tuesday some cash cattle in Texas and Kansas brought $123
to $126 per cwt versus mostly $130 there last week, said feedlot
    Packer bids for remaining cattle in the U.S. Plains stood at
$126 per cwt versus up to $133 asking prices, said feedlot
sources. Plains cash cattle a week ago mostly sold from $130 to
    Processors resisted paying more for cattle while wrestling
with declining margins and tepid seasonal wholesale beef demand,
said traders and analysts.
    They said cattle supplies are tight in parts of the Plains,
but packers can draw from huge numbers of animals contracted
against the futures market.
    Wednesday morning's average wholesale beef price dropped 50
cents per cwt from Tuesday at $219.07. Select cuts fell $1.25 to
$211.77, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
    Wednesday's average beef packer margins were a positive
$43.35 per head, down from a positive $116.45 a week ago, as
calculated by
    Live cattle futures gains, and higher cash feeder cattle
prices, drove up CME feeder cattle contracts.
    March feeder cattle        , which will expire on Thursday,
ended up 0.950 cent per pound to 133.300 cents. Most actively
traded April         finished 1.450 cents higher at 134.400

    Short-covering and bargain buying halted nearby CME lean hog
contracts' three-session decline prompted by recently slumping
cash and wholesale pork prices, said traders.
    Deferred-month investors adjusted positions before USDA's
quarterly hog report on Thursday at 2 p.m CDT (1900 GMT).
    April hogs         ended up 0.200 cent per pound to 65.300
cents, and May         up 0.075 cent to 69.475 cents.
    More hogs are available as spring temperatures moderate in
the Midwest, which allows pigs to add weight faster, said
analysts and traders.
    They said increased supplies have retailers waiting for pork
prices to come down before actively purchasing product for
spring grilling demand.
    U.S. government data on Wednesday morning showed the average
wholesale pork price $1.84 per cwt lower than on Tuesday to
$75.77, led by $3.11 lower loins.

 (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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