Nov 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures drifted lower on Thursday, further pressured by liquidation after contracts on Wednesday ended down by their 3-cent-per-lb daily price limit, traders said.
* Live cattle’s trading limit was expanded to 4.5 cents following Wednesday’s limit-down settlement.
* At 8:36 a.m. CST (1436 GMT), December was down 0.800 cent per lb at 136.425 cents, and February was 1.000 cent lower at 138.650 cents.
* Bullish investors clung to the sidelines in anticipation of weaker prices for market-ready, or cash, cattle by Friday as packers struggle to recoup lost margins and stimulate lackluster beef demand.
* Cash cattle sellers are asking $140 to $142 per cwt for their animals with no bids from processors, feedlot sources said. Last week, U.S. Plains cash cattle fetched $133 to $138.50.
* Wednesday afternoon’s wholesale choice beef price was up $1.74 per cwt from Tuesday to $220.14. Select cuts fell 63 cents to $209.69, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
* On Thursday, the USDA export report for the week ended Oct. 29 showed U.S. beef sales at 3,200 tonnes, mostly to Japan.
* In the previous week, exports totaled 400 tonnes after some shippers routinely canceled sales as the end of the marketing year approaches.
* FEEDER CATTLE - November was 1.825 cents per lb lower at 184.325 cents, on spillover from futures 4.500-cents per lb limit-down close on Wednesday.
* Feeder cattle limits were expanded to 6.750 cents on Thursday.
* LEAN HOGS - Spot-December was up 0.950 cent per lb higher at 58.325 cents, and February was 0.625 cent higher at 60.650 cents.
* Short-covering and futures’ discounts to CME’s lean hog index for Nov. 2 at 68.87 cents attracted buyers, traders said.
* Slumping cash and wholesale pork prices amid plentiful seasonal supplies slowed further advances, they said.
* The Wednesday afternoon wholesale pork price of $76.41 per cwt was $1.16 lower than on Tuesday, following the $7.30 drop in pork belly costs, the USDA said.
* Separate government data showed Wednesday afternoon’s average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota at $58.86 per cwt, down $1.61 from Tuesday.
* Thursday’s weekly government export data showed U.S. pork sales at 10,700 tonnes, mostly to Mexico, compared with 18,300 tonnes in the previous week. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)