* CME live cattle prices drag despite new beef price record
* Feeders track lower cattle futures, firm corn
* Weaker cash hog, pork values drop hog futures
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, May 23 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures sagged on Thursday as lower cash cattle prices
weighed, analysts and traders said.
So far this week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas traded at
$124 per hundredweight, down $1 from a week ago, said feedlot
Packers bought cattle for next week's slaughter that will be
shortened by one-day due to the May 25 to May 27 U.S. Memorial
CME live cattle lost ground despite wholesale beef prices
eking out a new record high.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday morning
quoted the wholesale price of choice beef, or cutout, up 15
cents to $211.35 per cwt, eclipsing the previous high of $211.20
set Wednesday afternoon.
"Bear traders are in full control of the market," said
Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage president Troy Vetterkind.
"I don't think we've put in our summer low in the futures.
Until we get down to probably 116.000 to 117.000 cents area, the
futures are just going to keep going lower," he said.
June cattle closed at 119.125 cents, 0.875 cent per
lb lower and August ended down 1.025 cents at 118.200
Feeder cattle futures fell after spot-May's expiration at
noon CDT (1700 GMT) exposed remaining futures' steep premiums to
CME's feeder cattle index at 131.26 cents.
And lower CME live cattle and firmer corn prices pulled
down other feeder cattle contracts.
Spot May settled unchanged at 131.625 cents per lb.
August, the new lead contract, settled at 142.650
cents, down 1.675 cents and September finished down
1.750 cents to 144.950 cents.
HOGS DROP WITH CASH
Profit taking, lower cash hog prices and weak wholesale pork
values undercut CME hogs, analysts and traders said.
"It was a profit-taking day after the market got ahead of
itself after rallying sharply on Wednesday," said R.J. O'Brien
hog futures trader Tom Cawthorne.
The average hog price on Thursday morning in the
most-watched Iowa/Minnesota market was $1.56 per hundredweight
lower from Wednesday at $89.01, according to USDA data.
USDA's Thursday morning mandatory wholesale pork price
data, or cutout, calculated on a plant-delivered basis was
$93.76 per hundredweight, down 34 cents from Wednesday.
Packers are not buying hogs aggressively with plants slated
to be closed for Monday's U.S. Memorial Day holiday and
retailers likely booked enough fresh pork to feature during the
Some investors are concerned that potentially inclement
weather in parts of the country could dampen grilling over the
three-day holiday weekend.
CME June hogs closed down 0.350 cent to 94.200 cents
and July ended at 93.025 cents, or 0.400 cent lower.
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)