LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle end firm on tight supplies, lower weights

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Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures ended mostly firm on Friday, underpinned by tight supplies and as harsh winter weather in recent weeks lowered cattle slaughter weights and limited beef production, traders said.

Live cattle futures prices remained bound in a recent trading range as cash cattle prices at Plains feedlot markets were mixed in light trade compared with last week’s sales.

However, lower feeder cattle futures amid rising feed corn prices capped gains in the live cattle market.

February live cattle ended 0.175 cent higher at 157.725 cents per pound while April futures were down 0.025 cent at 160.900 cents. March feeder cattle futures fell 1.400 cents to 182.875 cents per pound.

CME lean hog futures ended mixed on Friday, as pressure from weak cash hog prices and ample supplies was offset by a sharply higher wholesale pork carcass cutout value.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the pork cutout PRK-MAN-CARCS jumped to $81.64 per cwt on Friday, up $2.31 from a near two-year low posted the prior day.

Pork packer margins remained weak at an estimated $2.00 per head on Friday, down from $7.50 a week ago, according to livestock marketing advisory service HedgersEdge.com.

CME February lean hogs ended 0.100 cent lower at 78.650 cents per pound while April futures were up 0.100 cent at 87.275 cents per pound. Deferred contracts were 0.275 cent lower to 0.650 higher.