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LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle bounce from two-week low in most-active contract

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures finished higher on Thursday in the most-active contract, after shaking off a two-week low hit earlier in the session, traders said.

Other contracts ended mixed, as the market took a breather following a recent rally in cash cattle prices, brokers said.

Cash cattle on Thursday traded steady from last week at $150 per cwt in Kansas and Texas and $153 per cwt in Nebraska, said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for brokerage Allendale. Cash prices firmed over the prior four weeks, he said.

"We stopped our four-week rally," Nelson said.

CME December live cattle settled up 0.550 cent at 151.950 cents per lb after touching 150.975 cents, the contract's lowest since Oct. 19. The contract set a high of 154.250 cents last week.

"We've had a nice break off the highs, which was probably corrective in nature, and now we're finding some footing and hoping for some higher cash trade," said Ted Seifried, chief agriculture strategist for the Zaner Group.

Most-active CME January feeder cattle finished down 0.575 cent at 179.425 cents per lb.

Wholesale prices for choice cuts of beef were higher, jumping by $1.71 from Wednesday to $265.18 per cwt, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed. Select cuts dipped by $0.10 to $233.06 per cwt.

The USDA separately reported that weekly net export sales for 2022 were 9,200 tonnes for U.S. beef and 47,900 tonnes for U.S. pork.

The pork sales were great, Seifried said, though lean hog futures did not rally. Hog trading was largely technical in nature, he said.

"When you've got a lack of an overall driving factor in the market, we are just going to ping-pong between technical points," Seifried said.

The benchmark December lean hog contract settled up 0.075 cent at 83.375 cents per lb at the CME after touching their lowest price since Oct. 17. February lean hogs slipped 0.025 cent to finish at 87.175 cents per lb. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Additional reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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