CME live cattle seen opening lower, hogs mixed
Feb 10 (Reuters) - CME live cattle were expected to open lower on Monday following Friday's drop in cash and wholesale beef prices, traders said. * On Friday, a light number of cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at $140 to $141 per hundredweight (cwt), compared to $144 to $145 the week before, feedlot sources said. * Last week, cash cattle in Nebraska sold at mostly $141 versus $146 the previous week, they said. * Friday afternoon's wholesale choice beef price was $210.77 per cwt, down $2.74 from Thursday. Select cuts dropped $3,12 to $209.19, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. * USDA's monthly export data on Friday showed beef exports in December at 227.9 million lbs, up 5.5 percent from November and up 15.9 percent from December 2012. * Monday is the first notice day for cattle deliveries against the February live cattle contract that will expire on Feb. 28. LIVE CATTLE - Called 0.200 cent to 0.300 cent per lb lower. * Packers are expected to reduce slaughter rates this week to stabilize their falling operating margins and sliding wholesale beef prices, a trader said. * CME live cattle futures remain at a discount to last week's lower cash prices, which could minimize potential market losses, he said. * There is no word whether Cargill Inc's beef processing plant in Schuyler, Nebraska that was idled by fire on Friday will resume operations on Monday. FEEDER CATTLE - Narrowly mixed. * CME feeder cattle futures may draw support from weak corn prices while pressured by possible selling in the live cattle market. * LEAN HOGS - Called up 0.200 cent to down 0.200 cent per lb. * Friday's mixed, rather than lower cash prices, and higher wholesale pork values may underpin the February CME hog contract, traders said. * On Monday, cash hog prices in the Midwest traded steady as packers buy supplies for this week's production, hog dealers said. A large East Coast pork processor is offline due to maintenance, they said. * Futures' premium to CME's hog index at 83.81 cents and profit taking are negative market factors, they said. * December pork exports were at 454.6 million lbs, up 0.3 percent from the previous month and up 6.5 percent from a year ago, according to USDA data.
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