CME live cattle futures weakened by cash price uncertainty

April 23 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle
futures turned lower on Wednesday, pressured by profit-taking
and uncertainty regarding cash prices this week, traders said.
    * Sell stops and fund liquidation exerted more CME live
cattle pressure, they said. 
    * There were no deliveries reported by CME late on Tuesday
against the April live cattle contract.
    * The U.S. Department of Agriculture's cold storage report
late on Tuesday showed beef stocks in March totaled 404.8
million lbs, down 1 pct from the month before and down 21
percent from last year.
    * At 8:39 a.m. CDT (1339 GMT), April live cattle was
down 0.225 cent to 143.475 cents per lb, and June fell 0.300 cent to 134.675 cents. * Futures will likely chop around until cash cattle changes hands, a trader said. * Packers may try to lower cash cattle bids based on their negative, but improving, operating margins and more animals for sale. * Strong wholesale beef prices might underpin this week's cash prices. * Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at $147 per cwt, and at $148 in Nebraska, feedlot sources said. * FEEDER CATTLE - May was at 178.475 cents, up 0.125 cent. August was down 0.025 cent to 182.250 cents. * CME feeder cattle drew support from steady-to-higher cash feeder cattle prices, but pressured by profit-taking and weak live cattle futures. * LEAN HOGS - May lean hogs were at 120.500 cents per lb, down 0.525 cent, and most actively traded June slipped 0.025 cent to 123.225 cents. July gained 0.275 cent to 121.275 cents. * Nearby CME hog futures slipped in volatile trading following late-Tuesday's wholesale pork price slump, but speculative buying at times lifted remaining contracts. * Tuesday's mixed cash hog prices offered no clear direction regarding near-term cash prices, traders said. * Still, some investors and hog dealers contend cash hog prices could trend higher soon as demand for pork heat up for spring grilling.
* Nearby futures' premiums to CME's hog index, at 119.65 cents, discouraged buyers, traders said. * Government data on Wednesday showed hog weights in Iowa/Minnesota for the week ended last Saturday averaged a record-high 286.4 lbs, topping last week's 285.7-lb record and up 9.3 lbs from a year earlier. * Late-Tuesday's USDA data showed March pork inventories at 575.2 million lbs, down 12 pct from the previous month and down 11 percent from last year. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago)

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