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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/19 11:51

   Early-Week Losses Flood Through Livestock Trade 

   Livestock futures have posted triple-digit losses through the last half of 
the morning with traders focusing on aggressive outside market losses. This may 
add even more weakness to the complex as traders continue look for stability 
through the end of the day. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Sharp losses are seen in all livestock trade with triple-digit pressure 
developing in most nearby contracts. Hog futures have posted the most 
aggressive pressure with nearby contracts breaking through support levels that 
have developed in the last couple of weeks. Corn prices are lower in light 
trade. May corn futures are 6 cents lower Monday. Stock markets are lower in 
light trade. The Dow Jones is 327 points lower while Nasdaq is down 162 points.


   Strong pressure is developing in live cattle trade. June through October 
contracts are holding losses of $1.20 to $1.37 per cwt with the underlying 
weakness in all cattle and most outside markets sparking follow-through 
liquidation. The inability to bring some stability to the cattle trade is 
eroding not only fundamental support, but likely expected to limit the 
potential of technical support through the complex. Cash cattle activity 
remains quiet early Monday with packers focusing on collecting show lists 
through the morning as well as inventory taking for the next two weeks. With 
end of the month processing schedules in sight, packers are focusing on the 
ability to draw on Easter holiday needs as well as potential plant slowdowns 
through the last week of the month. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, 
$1.74 higher (select) and down $0.22 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 33 
total loads reported (18 loads of choice cuts, 10 loads of select cuts, no 
loads of trimmings, 5 loads of ground beef). 


   Feeder cattle futures have eroded through the morning with triple digit 
losses seen in March through October trade. This lack of support in the cattle 
complex is not only adding to the longer term weakness in the complex, but also 
has created concerns that sharp outside market pressure will continue to draw 
selling pressure to the market over the near future. Even though aggressive 
losses are seen at midday, the entire complex is contained into a narrow 
trading range with all nearby futures holding losses from $1.20 to $1.22 per 
cwt lower.  


   Losses through lean hog trade have expanded through the morning with current 
losses seen from $1.20 to $2.25 per cwt. The most aggressive pressure is seen 
in spring and summer contracts as traders remain focused on the aggressive 
outside market pressure and concerns that previous buyer support will quickly 
erode over the near future. June futures have quickly broken through recent 
support levels, leaving more room for additional price pressure. This is likely 
to limit buyer activity in all contracts through most of the day. Cash prices 
are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average 
price is down $0.46 at $59.50 per cwt with the range from $52.00 to $59.50 on 
3,425 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.67 at $57.78 per 
cwt with the range from $52.00 to $59.50 on 581 head reported sold.  The 
National Pork Plant Report posted 131 loads selling with carcass values falling 
$0.54 per cwt. Lean hog index for 3/15 is at $65.52, down 0.41 with a projected 
two-day index of $64.97, down 0.55. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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