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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/02 11:23

   Live Cattle Futures Mixed in Sluggish Trade               

   Trade volume and market intensity remains light Thursday as traders seem to 
be calling it a day in front of the early market close. Markets will remain 
closed until Monday in observance of Fourth of July, and may draw additional 
activity early next week. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Livestock futures are coasting into the early close of trade Thursday as 
traders look for some much needed stability following the wild market ride over 
the last couple of trading sessions. Trade volume has remained extremely 
sluggish, which could allow for prices to remain mixed in a tight range through 
the end of the session. Corn prices are higher in light trade. September corn 
futures are 5 cents per bushel higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. 
The Dow Jones is 33 points lower while Nasdaq is down 14 points.


   Live cattle futures are trading mixed in a very narrow price range as 
traders look for additional outside market and fundamental support over the 
weekend. Overall beef clearance reports through the weekend and early next week 
are likely to help set the tone for trade activity once traders return to the 
market Monday. Following a lackluster Memorial Day movement, some have high 
expectations of the weekend beef demand. Cash cattle trade is still undeveloped 
Thursday morning, although a few bids are seen at $152 live and $240 dressed in 
the North. This is within the same ranges seen Wednesday, where most of the 
trade activity was seen. Activity is expected to be wrapped up in the South, 
although more cattle may trade before the end of the day in the North. 


   Light to moderate losses are seen through the feeder cattle futures during 
the lightly traded Thursday session. Following the wild swings in cattle 
futures, and especially the feeder cattle market over the last couple of 
trading sessions, the market is in need of some time to take a deep breath and 
focus on fundamental market factors. The following days should give traders 
that opportunity as markets will not reopen until Monday morning. 


   Light trade is once again characterizing the lean hog futures trade Thursday 
morning as traders coast into closing bell and the long holiday weekend. 
Moderate gains are holding through the entire morning in July and August summer 
contracts with gains of 40 to 70 cents per cwt seen at midday. Light pressure 
is once again seen in deferred contracts as traders remain concerned that 
overall supplies will still keep the market under pressure long term. Cash 
prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price fell $0.98 per cwt to $72.23 per cwt with the range from $71.66 
to $74.00 per cwt on 3,148 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the 
Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell 
$0.71 per cwt to $73.82 per cwt with the range from $73.00 to $74.00 per cwt on 
820 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 160 loads 
selling with prices falling $0.99 per cwt. Lean hog index for 6/30 is at $77.15 
down 0.17, with a projected two-day index of $77.04 down 0.11.  

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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