May 9 (Reuters) – Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures slid lower on Friday, weakened by profit-taking following Thursday’s lower wholesale beef prices, traders said.
* Anticipation of steady to lower prices for market-ready, or cash, cattle exerted more pressure on futures, they said.
* Friday is the third of five days in which funds that follow the Standard & Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index will sell, or “roll,” their June long CME live cattle and hog positions into deferred months.
* CME livestock traders will eye U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production reports to be issued at 12:00 p.m. CDT (1700 GMT). The data could have feeding implications for cattle and hog producers.
* At 8:35 a.m. CDT (1335 GMT), June was 0.375 cent per lb lower at 137.550 cents, and August slipped 0.275 cent to 137.325 cents.
* “The market will bounce around until we get direction from the cash cattle market,” a trader said.
* Cash cattle bids in Texas and Kansas were $144 per hundredweight (cwt), feedlot sources said.
* Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas sold at $146 per cwt, with sales of $147 to $150 in Nebraska.
* Negative packer margins and expectations for a seasonal bump in supplies could pressure cash prices, traders and analysts said.
* Wet spring weather delayed the start of spring grilling, which is weighing on meat sales and is another negative factor for cash cattle prices, a trader said.
* FEEDER CATTLE – May was at 183.950 cents, up 0.450 cent per lb. August was 0.400 cent lower at 189.875, and September dropped 0.375 cent to 190.275.
* Firm cash feeder cattle prices underpinned CME May feeder cattle, but profit-taking and weak live cattle futures pressured other feeder cattle contracts.
* LEAN HOGS – May lean hogs were at 114.750 cents per lb, down 0.150 cent. Most actively traded June was up 0.525 cent at 120.675 cents, and July gained 0.850 cent to 124.275.
* Lower cash prices on Thursday pressured May CME hogs, traders said.
* Packers have supplies booked for this week and are buying for next week, they said.
* Short-covering and anticipation of tight supplies, as the fatal Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus spreads on U.S. hog farms, lifted deferred hog contracts, an analyst said.
* Pork demand is expected to improve soon as grocers buy product for Memorial Day holiday grilling, he said.
* An eastern Midwest hog plant that processes 10,000 hogs per day was back in operation on Friday after being idled by mechanical repairs on Thursday, traders and hog dealers said.
* Investors continue to monitor continued talks between JBS and union employees at the company’s Worthington, Minnesota, hog plant after workers on Tuesday voted to strike over wages and health benefits. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Additional reporting by Meredith Davis; Editing by Peter Galloway)