CME live cattle, hog futures sag on pre-holiday profit taking

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle
futures turned lower on Friday after three days of gains,
pressured by profit taking before the U.S. Martin Luther King
Jr. holiday on Monday, traders said.
    *CME livestock markets will trade normal hours on Friday.
The exchange will be closed on Monday in observance of the
holiday.
    * A small number of U.S. meat packing plants are scheduled
to be closed on Monday's holiday, analysts and traders said. 
    * Another round of cold temperatures is forecast for the
Midwest over the next several days, which could again slow down
	
cattle weight gains, a trader said. * Last week's arctic blast and accompanying snow interrupted U.S. livestock production that in part led to record-high prices for wholesale beef and slaughter-ready cattle. LIVE CATTLE - At 8:52 a.m. CST (1452 GMT), February was at 139.625 cents per lb, down 0.525 cent, and April dropped 0.575 cents per lb to 138.650 cents. * Traders have adopted a wait-and-see attitude regarding subsequent cash cattle and beef prices after their record-setting pace, an analyst said. * This week, cattle in the U.S. Plains traded at $142 to $144 per cwt, surpassing last week's record price of $140, feedlot sources said. * Thursday afternoon's wholesale choice beef price was $228.79 per hundredweight (cwt), which jumped $4.17 from Wednesday to its sixth straight record, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. * The $225.51 select cuts price was up $3.60 from Wednesday and extended their record steak to ten straight days. * FEEDER CATTLE - January was at 169.650 cents per lb, down 0.150 cent, and March slipped 0.575 cent to 167.675 cents per lb. * CME feeder cattle felt pressure from profit taking and live cattle market losses. LEAN HOGS - February was at 86.550 cents per lb, down 0.325 cent, while April was at 91.925 cents, 0.325 cent lower.
* Profit taking weakened CME hog futures while firm cash hog and wholesale pork prices minimized losses, traders said. * Packers are buying hogs to carry over into next week, a trader said. Grocers are stocking meat cases to feature pork that should benefit from the recent run up in beef prices, he added. * USDA data on Thursday afternoon showed the wholesale pork price at $86.14 per cwt, $1.18 higher than on Wednesday. * Thursday afternoon's average price of hogs in the Midwest direct market traded roughly steady to up 50 cents per cwt, according to USDA. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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