LIVESTOCK-Most U.S. hogs futures gain as funds roll positions

* 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
said. 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 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 analysts said. 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 $131. 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 CME feeder cattle fell on the lower live cattle market and weaker cash feeder prices in the most-watched Oklahoma City market.
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)

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