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LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle firm on strong cash trade

By Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle strengthened on Tuesday, underpinned by strong cash markets and tight supplies of market-ready cattle, though recession fears limit gains, traders said.

"We saw some pretty strong cash trade in the western cornbelt yesterday," said Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing. "Our long-term bias is higher, until it becomes attractive to retain heifers on pasture."

CME October live cattle added 0.575 cent to close at 146.300 cents per lb., after reaching 146.775, while December live cattle closed up 0.175 cent at 151.075 cents per lb.

CME feeder cattle futures eased, with October feeders slipping 2.275 cents to 180.025 cents per lb. and November feeders lost 2.250 cents to 181.275 cents.

Cash cattle traded was firmer to start the week, Brugler noted, but light in volume. The U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged cash trade last week at $143 per hundred weight (cwt) in the northern U.S. plains to $142 in the southern plains.

Meanwhile, consumer beef prices remain strong, with choice cuts easing 81 cents to $251.64 per cwt, while select cuts added $1.34 to $227.23 per cwt, the USDA said.

CME lean hog futures gained as cash hog prices remain firm despite lower nearby futures, Brugler said.

"We’re getting the normal seasonal decline. I think the board was anticipating a little more aggressive drop in the index, and then had to rally back," he said.

October lean hogs lost 0.425 cent to 96.475 cents per lb., while the most-active December hogs firmed 0.18 cent to 88.150 cents per lb.

The lean hog index, a two-day weighted average of cash hog values, added 45 cents to 98.42 cents per pound.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture quoted the U.S. pork carcass cutout value down for a second day at $105.18 per cwt, losing 71 cents from Monday. (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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