LIVESTOCK-Lower cash prices weaken U.S. hog futures

* CME live cattle mixed in choppy action
    * Feeders mimic two-sided live cattle trade

    By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, June 25 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange
hogs dropped Tuesday as lower cash prices stirred profit taking,
traders and analysts said.
    They said anticipation of wholesale pork prices about to top
out contributed to CME hog futures' selling.
    "We're evolving to where consumers are getting saturated
with pork and those prices are inching higher,"
senior analyst John Kleist said.
    And hot humid summer weather is approaching which
traditionally hurts meat demand for outdoor cookouts, he said.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed the average hog price on Tuesday morning in the western Midwest hog market at $96.15 per hundredweight (cwt), $3.56 lower than on Monday. Tuesday morning's USDA mandatory wholesale pork price report, or cutout, calculated on a plant-delivered basis, was at $108.10 per cwt, up 20 cents from Monday. Supermarkets are close to completing pork purchases for U.S. July 4th Independence Day holiday demand. And more hogs are available as seasonally tight hog supplies near an end. Investors are monitoring the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea pig virus spread in the United States found at 199 sites in 13 states, according to researchers at veterinarian diagnostic lab. They said the total number of pig deaths from the outbreak since the first cases were confirmed May 17 is not known. CME July hogs settled 0.800 cent per lb lower at 100.150 cents and August settled down 0.325 cent to 97.700 cents. TWO-SIDED LIVE CATTLE CME live cattle settle narrowly mixed following a choppy day of trading, analysts and traders said. They said recent CME live cattle gains and futures' upside breakout of its trading range suggests the market has bottomed out. Conversely, slowed wholesale beef demand and steady-to-weak cash price expectations prompted selling into futures' advances.
There were no cash bids or asking prices reported by feedlot sources. Cash-basis cattle last week sold at $120 per cwt. Fewer cattle are up for sale this week. But packers will not need as many cattle with plants scheduled to be closed at least one day for the July 4th holiday. The government's Tuesday morning data showed the wholesale price of choice beef at $198.41 per cwt, which was 84 cents lower than on Monday. Select cuts rose 33 cents to $186.91. Beef demand could mount a comeback later this summer and early fall as the weather moderates and consumers tire of eating pork, said's Kleist. Spot-June live cattle, which will expire on Friday, finished up 0.200 cent per lb to 121.150 cents. Most actively traded August closed down 0.050 cent to 121.125 cents. CME feeder cattle moved in tandem with mixed live cattle futures. August settled up 0.200 cent per lb to 147.875 cents, and September was at 150.075 cents, or down 0.025 cent. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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