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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/18 11:24

   Light Volume Seen Friday

   Limited market activity is seen through the complex with limited price 
pressure redeveloping in the cattle complex. Hog markets have posted firm gains 
through early morning trade Friday. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Follow-through pressure in live cattle futures complex although light buyer 
support is attempting to step back into the complex. Light volume is seen 
through the complex with traders focusing on end of the week positioning in 
front of the long holiday weekend as markets will remain closed Monday for the 
Martin Luther King holiday. Corn markets are lower in light early trade. Stock 
markets are higher. Dow Jones is 123 points higher with Nasdaq up 20 points. 

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Open: Steady to $1 lower. Light pressure is slowly moving into the live 
cattle complex with nearby contracts holding a loss of 62 cents per cwt. There 
is growing stability seen through deferred contracts as traders look for 
increased market direction while trying to bring stability to the complex. Cash 
cattle activity has entered the home stretch with bids unavailable so far 
Friday morning. Asking prices remain near $128 and higher live and $200 
dressed. Packer interest will improve through the day, but it could be late in 
the day before most of the business is done. Open interest Thursday gained 266 
positions (388,817). Spot month February contracts slipped 1,256 positions 
(65,876) and April contracts added 502 positions (151,166). DTN projected 
slaughter for Friday is 118,000 head. 

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Open: Steady to 50 cents lower. Limited pressure is redeveloping through the 
complex with nearby contracts holding steady prices in front month January 
contracts, while March and April contracts are holding 40-cent losses. There is 
increased pressure likely to be seen through the morning, although price 
stability is expected to be the focus through the end of the session. Cash 
index for 1/16 is listed at $143.09 down $1.10. Open interest Thursday gained 
345 positions (50,755).

   LEAN HOGS:

   Open: Steady to $0.50 higher. Firm early morning buying has moved into lean 
hog futures trade as traders focus on squaring positions at the end of the 
week. With markets closed Monday, traders are trying to adjust for the long 
holiday weekend. This may spark some additional market support through the next 
couple of hours. Cash hog trade is $1 lower to 50 cents higher. Most bids are 
steady. Open interest added 1,149 positions (205,781). February fell 2,484 
positions (33,766) and April added 3,260 positions (79,598). Cash lean index 
for 1/16 is $58.18 up 0.16. DTN projected slaughter for Friday is 460,000 head. 
Saturday runs are expected to be 150,000 head.

   Rick Kment can be reached at rick.kment@dtn.com 


(CZ)

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