* Weak cash expectations drop CME live cattle
* Feeder cattle futures track live cattle lower
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, May 7 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog
futures settled mostly firm on Tuesday as funds sold the
spot-June contract and bought deferred months as dictated by the
Goldman Sachs Commodity Index roll.
Funds that follow Standard & Poor's Goldman Sachs Commodity
Index shifted their June long positions into July and August.
Tuesday was the first of five days of that roll.
CME hogs drew sporadic short-covering support following
higher cash hog and wholesale pork prices, analysts and traders
But they said fallen margins could soon curb packer demand
for supplies which limited CME hogs' advances.
"We could be watching the last rush by packers to top off
inventories before the weekend," a trader said. "And grocers
could reduce pork purchases after filling Memorial Day meat
orders," he said.
June hogs settled down 0.025 cent at 91.300 cents
per lb. July closed at 91.375 cents, up 0.125 cents and
August ended at 90.300 cents, 0.250 cent higher.
U.S. pork packer margins on Tuesday were estimated at a
negative $7.90 per head. It was same as on Monday and compared
to a positive $4.50 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed the average hog
price on Tuesday in the most-watched Iowa/Minnesota market at
$90.42 per cwt, $2.96 higher than on Monday.
USDA's Tuesday afternoon mandatory wholesale pork price,
calculated on a plant-delivered basis, was $87.92 per cwt. That
was 91 cents higher than on Monday.
CASH UNEASE PRESSURES CATTLE
CME live cattle slipped from morning highs in anticipation
of a seasonal top in cash and wholesale beef prices, traders and
Investors were expecting a steady-to-weak cash cattle trade
with the return of packer margins into the red and more supplies
for sale than last week.
The roll by funds that track the Standard & Poor's Goldman
Sachs Commodity Index weighed more on June but lessened August
and October losses.
June closed at 120.825 cents, 0.475 cents per lb
lower. August ended down 0.350 cent at 121.050 cents.
Packers will resist buying cattle at $128 to $130 per cwt
given June futures' current price, a trader said.
Spotty cash cattle bids surfaced in Kansas at $125 per cwt,
said feedlot sources. There were no bids and asking prices
reported elsewhere in the state and the U.S. Plains, they said.
Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas sold at $128 to
$129 per cwt. Live-basis cattle in Nebraska fetched $130 to
The wholesale price of choice beef, or cutout, on Tuesday
gained 93 cents per cwt from Monday to $201.19 per cwt. Select
cuts rose 65 cents to $190.26, according to USDA.
U.S. beef packer margins on Tuesday were estimated at a
negative $15.95 per head versus a positive $3.90 on Monday and a
negative $27.35 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com.
CME feeder cattle fell on the lower live cattle market and
weaker cash feeder prices in the most-watched Oklahoma City
May feeder cattle closed at 136.875 cents, down
1.525 cents per lb. It sank to a new contract low of 136.550
cents in after-hours trading.
August settled 0.900 cent lower at 146.550 cents.
(Editing by David Gregorio)