* Lower cash cattle prices pressure futures
* Feeders follow live cattle market lower
* Hogs up with cash prices in tight supply
By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, May 8 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures on Wednesday fell for a fourth straight session
as lower cash cattle prices weighed on the market despite
record-high beef values, traders and analysts said.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed wholesale price
of choice beef, or cutout, on Wednesday jumped $3.48 per cwt
from Tuesday to a new all-time high of $204.67 per cwt. It
bested the previous mark set last Friday of $201.68.
A small number of cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at
$126 per cwt, down $2 from last week, feedlot sources said. Bids
stood at $126 for unsold cattle in both states and elsewhere in
the Plains against $130 asking prices, they said.
"The strong cutout aside, you can't expect packers to pay
more money for cattle considering where futures are at," said
Archer Financial Services broker Dennis Smith.
The beef cutout benefited as grocers stocked up for the U.S.
Memorial Day holiday grilling features. Increased cattle
supplies and poor packer margins challenged cash prices.
CME live cattle June closed at 120.200 cents, 0.625
cent per lb lower on the day.
August ended down 1.050 cents to 120.000 cents
before dropping to a new contract low of 119.850 cents in
Deferred CME live cattle contracts bore the brunt of
Wednesday's selloff. Spot-June's discount to cash prices stirred
bullish spreads that sent August and October to fresh contract
June buying at times encountered funds that follow the
Standard & Poor's Goldman Sachs Commodity Index roll. Funds that
track the index are shifting their spot-June long positions into
August and October contracts. Wednesday is the second of five
days for that roll.
CME feeder cattle mimicked the live cattle market's four-day
slide. Traders exiting spot-May feeder cattle before it expires
on May 23 sent the spot month to a new contract low.
May feeder cattle closed at 135.600 cents, down
1.275 cents per lb. It fell to a fresh contract low of 135.575
cents in after-hours trading.
August settled 1.225 cents lower at 145.325 cents.
HOGS UP WITH CASH PRICES
Hog futures climbed after packers raised cash hog bids to
ensure themselves of supplies to finish out this week's
slaughter, said traders and analysts.
June hogs settled up 0.475 cent to 91.775 cents per
lb while July closed at 91.900 cents, or 0.525 cent
The average hog price on Wednesday in the most-watched
Iowa/Minnesota market was $91.85 per cwt, $1.44 higher than on
Processors actively bought hogs that are in tight supply
based on lower animal weights, a trader said. Those reduced
weights suggest producers are on schedule in sending their hogs
USDA's weekly weight data showed hogs in the Iowa/southern
Minnesota market last week averaged 276.8 lbs, down 1.2 lbs from
the week before and down 0.1 lb from the same period a year ago.
But sinking packer margins and weak wholesale pork prices
stirred sentiment that cash hog prices may close to topping out
U.S. pork packer margins on Wednesday were estimated at a
negative $11.20 per head, compared to a negative $7.90 on
Tuesday and a negative $3.50 a week ago, according to
USDA's Wednesday afternoon mandatory wholesale pork price,
calculated on a plant-delivered basis, was $87.72 per cwt. That
was down 20 cents than on Tuesday.
(Editing by G Crosse)