CME live cattle futures slip on profit-taking

May 30 (Reuters) – Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Friday edged down slightly, pressured by profit-taking after Thursday’s steep climb, traders said.

* Futures’ discount to this week’s prices for market-ready, or cash, cattle limited market losses, they said.

* Friday’s USDA export data for the week ended May 22 showed U.S. beef sales at 12,700 tonnes, mostly to Mexico, compared with 12,100 tonnes the week before.

* At 8:12 a.m. CDT (1312 GMT), June was down 0.025 cent to 138.000 cents. August slipped 0.150 cent to 139.025 cents.

* With this week’s cash cattle trade completed, investors evened up positions on the final day of trading for the month of May, an analyst said.

* Cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at mostly $143 per hundredweight (cwt), down $1 from last week. Cash cattle in Nebraska sold at $143, $2 to $3 lower than a week ago.

* This week, packers spent less for cattle in anticipation of a seasonal increase in supplies, traders and analysts said.

* Investors will track wholesale beef prices as retailers buy product for spring grilling demand, they said.

* FEEDER CATTLE – August slipped 0.150 cent per lb to 196.900, September dropped 0.275 cent to 197.800.

* Weak CME live cattle and profit-taking undercut feeder cattle futures.

* LEAN HOGS – June was down 0.575 cent per lb at 113.725 cents, and July slipped 0.250 cent at 120.350 cents.

* CME hogs felt pressure from late Thursday’s lower wholesale pork values, traders said.

* Grocers have all the pork they need heading into the weekend, a trader said.

* Futures’ premium to CME’s hog index, at 110.98, deterred buyers.

* Pre-weekend short-covering and Thursday afternoon’s higher cash hog prices minimized futures losses.

* While some processors have supply needs met for the week, others are buying hogs for early next week, an analyst said.

* Speculation regarding tight supplies pegged to the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus underpinned deferred CME hog contracts.

* Friday’s USDA export data showed U.S. pork sales at 9,100 tonnes, mostly to Mexico, compared with 11,600 tonnes the week before. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago)

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