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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/19 11:55

   Traders Pull Back Ahead of the Week's Cattle on Feed Report 

   A few cattle have traded in the North for $292 which is $1.00 lower than 
last week's weighted average, and Southern live cattle are currently trading at 
$182 which is steady with last week's weighted average.  

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is trading mixed into Friday's noon hour as the cattle 
sector is trading mildly lower ahead of seeing the afternoon's Cattle on Feed 
report, but the hog complex is trading higher amid better consumer demand. A 
little bit of cash cattle trade has developed -- with prices trading $1.00 
lower in the North but remaining steady in the South, but more trade will need 
to develop ahead of the week's end. May corn is up 6 cents per bushel and July 
soybean meal is up $5.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 69.71 points.


   Although traders would like to make a move in the live cattle market, the 
market's support won't likely come to fruition ahead of the week's end. With 
Northern cash cattle beginning to trade at $292 which is $1.00 lower than last 
week's weighted average, and the monthly Cattle on Feed report set to be 
released later this afternoon, it's most likely that traders keep with their 
cautious, lower trend though the afternoon and through the day's close. June 
live cattle are down $0.32 at $175.05, August live cattle are down $0.50 at 
$173.02 and October live cattle are down $0.42 at $176.30. A handful of cattle 
have sold in the South for $182 which is steady with last week's weighted 
average, but total trade volumes remain incredibly light in both regions. 
Southern asking prices remain firm at $184 to $185, and at $295 plus for 
Northern dressed cattle.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.13 ($295.93) and select up $1.80 
($291.07) with a movement of 90 loads (55.46 loads of choice, 11.25 loads of 
select, 13.92 loads of trim and 8.92 loads of ground beef).


   Given that the live cattle contracts are trading lower, that cash cattle 
trade is being reported at steady to $1.00 lower and that the nearby corn 
contracts are trading $0.05 to $0.06 higher -- it's not surprising to see the 
feeder cattle contracts trading lower into Friday's noon hour. May feeders are 
down $1.05 at $241.50, August feeders are down $1.35 at $252.95 and September 
feeders are down $1.42 at $253.87. Not to mention, with the monthly Cattle on 
Feed report set to be unveiled later this afternoon, traders normally pull back 
ahead of that report's monthly showcasing. Placements are expected to be lower 
(following last month's 110% showing), but total on feed numbers are 
anticipated to be greater than a year ago with weaker marketings.


   The lean hog complex has shaken the blues which its market possessed through 
Thursday's trade and is trading notably higher into Friday's noon hour. It 
comes as no surprise to see that cash prices are lower given that packers 
fulfilled their needs earlier in the week, but it is supportive to note that 
midday pork cutout values are higher and that the carcass prices are being 
supported by subtle gains across nearly all the cuts -- not by one wild price 
swing in one cut. Like we commonly see in the belly's volatility. June lean 
hogs are up $1.90 at $104.60, July lean hogs are up $1.90 at $106.25 and August 
lean hogs are up $1.97 at $103.75. 

   The projected lean hog index for April 18 is down $0.11 at $91.35, and the 
actual index for April 17 is up $0.10 at $91.46. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.80 with a weighted average price of 
$88.69, ranging from $83.00 to $92.00 on 723 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $88.87. Pork cutouts total 146.32 loads with 133.51 loads of pork 
cuts and 12.81 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.06, $101.02.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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