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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/29 11:37

   Live Cattle Futures Slip at Midday                  

   Early gains in the cattle complex are quickly eroding as the focus through 
the complex has moved to aggressive boxed-beef pressure in the morning report. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Early gains in the cattle complex are being reevaluated at midday with live 
cattle gains quickly slipping out of sight following lack of cash cattle trade 
and weaker boxed beef values. Strong losses are seen through the lean hog 
complex as traders back away from the midweek rally. Corn prices are lower in 
light trade. March corn futures are 4 cents per bushel lower. Stock markets are 
mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 52 points higher while Nasdaq is down 12 


   Nearby contracts are hovering between 25 cents per cwt lower and 25 cents 
per cwt higher at midday. With other deferred futures posting moderately more 
pressure as the initial buyer support seen through the complex quickly fading. 
The inability to maintain stable boxed beef values in the morning report is 
adding some additional weakness to the market. There is likely to be some 
additional concerns as end of the month positioning starts taking place through 
the next two days. Cash cattle markets remain undeveloped at this point with 
$156 per cwt bids developing in the South through the morning. It is expected 
that trade may be delayed into Friday, which could draw additional interest 
into the market. Asking prices are holding around $162 and higher in the South 
and $260 and higher in the North. Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $1.00 
lower (select) and down $1.88 per cwt (choice) with active movement of 112 
total loads reported (53 loads of choice cuts, 15 loads of select cuts, 19 
loads of trimmings, 25 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle futures have bounced higher and lower through the entire 
morning, with the focus on the complex remaining on overall market uncertainty 
through the near future. At midday, feeder cattle futures are hovering on 
either side of unchanged in very light trade volume. The inability for any 
significant price movement in the entire cattle complex at midday may leave the 
market open for another widespread price shift before the end of the week. But 
the challenge is, given the lack of consistency in the market, prices would 
move wildly in either direction, creating even more widespread concerns from 


   Sharp losses are seen through the lean hog futures market Thursday morning 
as traders back away from the one day surge in prices seen midweek and once 
again focus on the potential for aggressively growing supplies and lackluster 
demand. Nearby contracts are holding losses from $1 to $1.90 per cwt lower, as 
traders start backing away from midweek gains. Cash prices are lower on the 
National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.82 
per cwt to $65.89 per cwt with the range from $65.00 to $67.00 per cwt on 3,926 
head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the 
Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report 
is reported 230 loads selling as prices falling $1.69 per cwt. Lean hog index 
for 1/27 is at $72.14 down 0.37, with a projected two-day index of $71.73 down 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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