* CME feeder cattle end firm
By Meredith Davis
CHICAGO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures closed mixed on Tuesday, with the December
contract supported by steady cash expectations for this week
while bearish spreads pressured the February contract, traders
Cash cattle asking prices in Texas and Kansas surfaced at
$134 per cwt with no bids from packers, feedlot sources said.
Last week, cattle in both states sold at $132, while $131 to
$132 traded in Nebraska.
"The (cash) market has been unable to get much above a $132
to $133 trade and it looks like that is going to be the case
this week," KIS Futures analyst Lane Broadbent said.
Although overall cattle numbers remain tight, packers may be
selective this week due to more animals available for sale.
Unprofitable margins and tepid wholesale beef demand may
restrict how much processors will spend for supplies.
Tuesday afternoon's wholesale choice beef price fell 40
cents from Monday to $202.12 per cwt, and select cuts slipped 11
cents to $188.01, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
According to HedgersEdge.com, beef packer margins for
Tuesday were at a negative $41.50 per head, compared with a
negative $54.05 on Monday and negative $14.85 a week ago.
Spot December live cattle closed up 0.075 cent per
lb at 131.675 cents. February ended down 0.400 cent at
CME feeder cattle ended higher, with support from weaker
Chicago Board of Trade corn prices. Cheaper corn may encourage
feedlots to buy young cattle.
CBOT corn sagged on profit taking and technical selling
after the March contract neared a one-month high, traders said.
The closely-followed Oklahoma City feeder cattle market was
closed on Monday due to inclement weather, but light sales were
reported on Tuesday at steady prices, a stockyard source said.
January feeder cattle ended 0.400 cent per lb higher
at 165.550 cents, and March closed at 165.475 cents, up
FUND SELLING PRESSURE HOGS
Fund liquidation and profit-taking pushed CME hogs lower on
Tuesday, traders and analysts said.
February futures triggered sell stops after dropping below
the 10-day moving average of 89.610 cents.
Funds also sold the February contract and bought April and
May ahead of December future's expiration on Dec. 17.
February, which will assume lead-month duties after the
December contract expires, is at a sizable premium to CME's hog
index of 81.98 cents.
Lower cash hog prices further weakened nearby hog futures.
Most packers have this week's needs met despite the onset of
wintry weather in the Midwest.
USDA data on Tuesday afternoon quoted the closely-watched
Iowa/Minnesota hog market at $77.56 per cwt, $1.86 lower than on
Bitterly cold temperatures across portions of the U.S.
Plains slowed hog movement and will likely slow animal weight
gains, a trader said.
Spot December ended 0.550 cent per lb lower at
80.825 cents. February hogs closed 1.125 cents lower at
(Additional reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Diane