CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. livestock futures were mixed Wednesday, as cattle succumbed to a stronger dollar and demand concerns while lean hogs gained on support from the cash market.
U.S. cattle futures closed mostly lower under pressure from the stronger dollar and broad-based commodity selling.
CME live cattle for August delivery closed down 0.4 cents, or 0.4%, to $1.1295 a pound, while 2012 contracts were steady to slightly higher. August feeder cattle closed down 0.325 cents to $1.4095.
A lack of cash market movement left prices susceptible to outside forces, and a stronger dollar, which limits exports, and a hike in China's interest rates led the way lower.
Holiday weekend beef demand was considered average, which was actually friendly to prices, Kleist said, since traders have come to expect lackluster demand based on trends this year.
Near-term supplies are considered ample, which has weighed on prices. Longer-term, supplies are expected to tighten as the number of cattle placed on feedlots have dropped, but traders question whether demand could become a negative factor, as a sluggish economy leads consumers to curb beef consumption.
Cash cattle bids were reported in Kansas at $1.08 to $1.09 a pound on a live basis and the Texas Panhandle at $1.09 a pound, countered by asking prices from $1.14 to $1.15 a pound, according to feedyard managers and analysts.
Sales in Texas last week were from $1.12 to $1.13 a pound, with the majority at $1.1250 a pound and in Kansas at mostly $1.12 a pound. In Nebraska, sales a week ago were from $1.78 to mostly $1.80 a pound on a dressed basis and $1.11 to $1.1250 a pound live.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's midday beef price quote for choice grade carcasses Wednesday was up 52 cents to $179.70 a hundred pounds, and select rose 78 cents to $174.35 a hundred pounds on 154 total loads.
The latest HedgersEdge packer margin index was plus $27.05 a head, compared with $11.55 the previous day. This is an estimate of packer returns on cattle slaughtered and processed expressed in the form of an index.