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307248

LIVESTOCK-Live cattle futures climbed, despite slower slaughter

By Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures gained slightly on Friday after a week of range trading, traders said.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange December live cattle futures settled 0.300 cent higher at 108.650 cents per pound.

CME feeder cattle futures gained 0.525 cents to end at 135.925 cents per pound.

For the week, live cattle futures gained .3%, while feeder cattle futures added 1.44%.

"The market’s in a trading range, both cash and futures," said Larry Hicks, broker at CattleHedging.com. "It’s getting ready to breakout, one way or another. My bias is that it’s going to break to the downside in November before it recovers."

Boxed beef prices, which had been strengthening all week, were mixed, with choice cuts up $1.77 cents at $214.32 per cwt on Friday afternoon, but select cuts trimmed back 48 cents to$198.49, according to USDA data.

Meanwhile, cattle slaughter slipped to 109,000 head, down 4.4% compared to a week earlier and 7.6% lower than a year ago.

"I still think we need to get some cattle through. I don’t think we’ve finished backing up," said Hicks.

Lean hog futures dipped, with the most-active December contract losing 2.525 cents to close at 64.900 cents per pound, the biggest drop since October 22.

For the week, December hog futures lost 0.675 cents, the third consecutive week of losses in the market. (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper)

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