* Feeder cattle follow live cattle lower
* Profit-taking, weak cash weigh on CME hogs
* USDA to release cattle, cold storage reports
By Meredith Davis
CHICAGO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle settled narrowly mixed on Friday pressured by lower beef
prices this week and by investors adjusting positions before the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly cattle-on-feed report
at 2 p.m. CST (2000 GMT), traders and analysts said.
Analysts expect the report to show an increase in the number
of cattle placed in feedlots in October versus a year earlier as
less-costly corn improved profits for feedlots.
USDA will simultaneously issue its monthly cold storage
report. The data will include total October beef and pork
"We're seeing some position squaring going on before the
(USDA) report is released. But the main impetus for weak (live
cattle) futures is the Thursday afternoon wholesale beef which
showed some significant losses," said Dan Vaught, livestock
analyst at Doane.
The USDA's choice beef wholesale price on Thursday
afternoon was $198.58 per cwt, down 76 cents from Wednesday.
Select cuts fell 87 cents to $186.43.
"The morning Friday beef wholesale report was mixed, but
that does not help a great deal before the close," Vaught said.
USDA data showed choice wholesale beef cuts down 19 cents
from Thursday at $198.39 per cwt, while select cuts rose 40
cents to $186.83 per cwt.
On Thursday, cash cattle in Kansas and Texas lightly traded
at $131 per cwt, $1 lower than the previous week, feedlot
There were some reports of additional light cash trade in
Kansas on Friday at $130 per cwt with more sales anticipated
after the USDA cattle report, a Kansas-based commodities broker
Lackluster beef demand ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving
holiday combined with negative beef packer margins pressured
this week's cash cattle prices.
Beef packer margins on Friday were estimated at a negative
$66.45 per head, compared with a negative $61.15 on Thursday and
a negative $29.70 a week ago, according to HedgersEdge.com.
Live cattle futures for December finished up 0.025
cent per lb at 131.475 cents. February closed down 0.550
cent at 131.800 cents.
CME November feeder cattle settled slightly higher following
the December live cattle contract.
January ended up 0.125 cent per lb at 163.500 cents.
March ended at 163.375, down 0.100.
PORK PRICE WEIGHS ON HOG FUTURES
CME hog futures traded lower on profit-taking and a weak
wholesale pork price, traders and analysts said.
USDA on Friday morning reported the wholesale pork price was
down 44 cents from Thursday to $89.58 per cwt.
Wholesale pork prices continue to decline as product
supplies are boosted by a steady kill pace and record heavy
"Historically cash hog prices tend to reach seasonal lows in
early to mid-November and we are past that window," Vaught said.
Improved cash hog prices in the closely watched
Iowa/Minnesota direct market limited hog futures decline. The
average cash hog price at was at $78.25 per cwt, up $1.78 from
December hogs closed down 0.625 cent at 85.625
cents. It traded below the 10-day moving average of 86.230
February hogs closed down 0.900 cent at 89.675
(Editing by Andrew Hay)