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LIVESTOCK-U.S. hog futures end lower as funds sell

* Rebound in beef price lifts CME live cattle
    * Feeders gain with live cattle futures

    By Meredith Davis
    CHICAGO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog
futures fell on Thursday, pressured by fund liquidation after
the February contract dropped below a key technical level,
traders said. 
    The funds selling began after February fell below the 40-day
moving average of 90.47 cents, which then triggered sell stops.
    December hogs ended down 0.775 cent at 85.600 cents
per lb, while February closed 0.975 cent lower at 89.800
    Uncertainty about cash hog prices, given ample supplies and
record high weights, pressured the nearby CME hog contracts.   
U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday morning hog prices were unavailable due to the lack of sufficient data form packers to establish a market. Hog prices around the Midwest earlier on Thursday traded mostly steady to $1 lower than on Wednesday, according to hog dealers in the region. Ongoing worries that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), a fatal baby big disease, may reduce hog production next year limited deferred-month hog futures losses. "PEDv problems are not going away. The numbers continue to rise," said Brock Associates Inc commodities analyst Doug Houghton. "We're looking at growing losses next spring and summer. That should limit the weakness in deferred month contracts," he said. LIVE CATTLE UP WITH BEEF QUOTES CME live cattle futures ended moderately higher as Thursday morning's upturn in wholesale beef prices had traders optimistic for at least steady cash cattle prices this week, traders and analysts said. Choice wholesale beef values early on Thursday were up $1.26 per cwt from Wednesday at $204.27. Select cuts rose 51 cents to $189, USDA said. Beef sales should increase after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday as supermarkets feature more of it, traders said. Futures' recent gains could also support cash cattle prices, they added.
Cash cattle bids in Texas and Kansas were at $129 per cwt versus offers of $132 and higher, said feedlot sources. Cash cattle last week sold at mostly $131, with a few at $132. Packers may be leery about raising bids for cattle as their margins, while improving, remain deep in the red. estimated beef packer margins on Thursday at a negative $27.90, compared with a negative $30.80 on Wednesday and a negative $29.30 a week ago. December cattle finished up 0.225 cent per lb at 132.975 cents, and February closed up 0.025 at 134.525 cents. CME feeder cattle drew support from the advances in live cattle futures and weak Chicago Board of Trade corn prices. November feeders closed up 0.175 cent at 165.025 cents per lb, and January ended at 165.200 cents, up 0.550 cent. (Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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