CME live cattle futures traded lower early on Friday, weighed by caution before the government's monthly cattle report later this afternoon and weaker equities amid concerns about China and euro zone economic growth.
* Analysts are expecting USDA's cattle-on-feed report to show an increase in the number of cattle that moved into feedlots last month.
* "People are already nervous about the report and this thing with China doesn't help," a CME cattle trader said.
* He said China imports "little to no" beef from the U.S. but is a significant buyer of pork. But, he added, a slowdown in economies elsewhere would harm meat exports in general.
LIVE CATTLE - At 8:35 a.m. CDT (1435 GMT), April down 1.075 cent per lb at 124.175 cents and June down 1.050 cent at 121.125 cents.
* Investors cited weaker wholesale beef prices and deeply red beef packer margins as pressuring futures. Cash cattle sales are done for the week, they said.
* Cattle in the Plains traded at mostly $126 to $127, which was fully steady compared with last week, an analyst said.
* The government Thursday afternoon estimated the average price for choice beef at wholesale at $188.92 per cwt, down 2 cents per cwt. Select cuts were 65 cents lower at $187.67 with a total sales volume of 157 carloads.
FEEDER CATTLE - March down 0.400 cent at 153.050 cents per lb and April down 0.700 cent at 152.900 cents.
* Futures were pulled down by the lower live cattle market.