* Fund buying adds to live cattle futures' gains
* CME feeder cattle wilt as corn prices firm
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog
futures settled higher on Friday, helped by strong prices for
slaughter-ready hogs and firmer wholesale pork values, traders
On Friday morning, the price of hogs in the most-watched
Iowa/Minnesota market climbed $1.60 per cwt from Thursday to
$83.74 cents, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Separate USDA data showed the morning's wholesale pork
price, or cutout, at $94.27 per cwt, up 21 cents from Thursday.
Processors hiked cash hog bids and grocers spent more for
fresh pork despite sufficient supplies at higher weights.
Packers this week are on pace to slaughter an estimated 2.29
million hogs, up 18,000 from last week, USDA said.
Funds that follow the Standard & Poor's Goldman Sachs
Commodity Index (S&PGSCI) limited the December contract's gains.
Those funds at times sold, or "rolled," their CME hog and live
cattle December long positions and bought February and April.
Friday was the second of five days for the procedure.
Chicago Board of Trade corn gained modestly following USDA's
crop report that pegged 2013 U.S. corn production at a record
13.989 billion bushels. The outcome was slightly below an
average of analysts' estimates and above the USDA forecast in
While some speculative hog buyers waded into deep-deferred
futures with the view that corn price upturn would trim hog
production, others were unimpressed by USDA's data.
"There is still going to be plenty of corn around to feed
livestock, so I don't see the report being that big of a deal,"
a trader said.
December hogs ended up 0.575 cent at 88.125 cents,
while February hogs closed 0.675 cent higher at 92.075
CATTLE UP ON FUND BUYING
Fund buying and expectations that prices for slaughter-ready
cattle could bounce back in the coming weeks rallied CME live
cattle, traders and analysts said.
Early-session short-covering pushed December and February
futures beyond their respective 40-day moving averages of 131.92
cents and 133.55 cents, which encouraged fund buyers.
Some investors are hopeful that tighter cattle numbers in
the weeks and months ahead will force packers to pay more for
supplies. That, despite this week's sales of $131, down $1 from
More cattle were up for sale after packers bought fewer of
them in recent weeks. Processors avoided spending more for
cattle to recover lost margins and as wholesale beef demand
Friday morning's wholesale choice beef price was $203.10 per
cwt, 89 cents lower than the day. Select cuts were at $189.86,
down 31 cents, based on USDA data.
"We're in that two to three weeks in front of Thanksgiving
and we're inevitably going to have that round of bird (turkey)
featuring," agricultural lender Rabobank cattle economist Don
Live cattle December finished 0.725 cent per lb
higher at 132.400 cents, and February closed at 133.950
cents, up 0.400 cent.
Profit taking and firmer CBOT corn futures pared earlier CME
feeder cattle gains. Increased feed costs can discourage
feedlots from buying young cattle.
November closed down 0.200 cent per lb at 164.425
cents, and January ended at 164.425 cents, 0.700 cent
(Editing by Marguerita Choy)