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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/23 11:42

   Feeders Continue to Grind Higher

   Even with the live cattle contracts trading slightly lower, the feeder 
cattle complex continues to trade higher as its market is seeing ample 
technical and fundamental support.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The live cattle complex isn't trading higher but that hasn't delayed any 
progress in the feeder cattle market thus far. Meanwhile, the lean hog complex 
is continuing to trade higher as well, as traders believe demand will keep the 
market well supported. May corn is up 2 3/4 cents per bushel and July soybean 
meal is up $0.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 247.72 points.


   The live cattle complex is trading mostly lower into Tuesday's noon hour as 
the market seems to catch its breath after Monday's aggressive sprint. As of 
this point, it is promising however to see that traders are respecting the 
market's previous resistance threshold at $175.50 and keep the market above 
that price point. If traders let the market close below that point, it will 
signal some weakness. June live cattle are down $1.15 at $176.92, August live 
cattle are down $0.82 at $175.52 and October live cattle are down $0.47 at 
$179.45. No cash cattle trade has developed and it's not likely that the market 
will see any trade unfold until Thursday or Friday. Bids and asking prices are 
still elusive, but feedlots are expected to price cattle higher this week.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $3.69 ($299.62) and select up $0.74 
($292.61) with a movement of 71 loads (35.95 loads of choice, 12.58 loads of 
select, 5.15 loads of trim and 17.78 loads of ground beef).


   Even with the live cattle contracts trading slightly lower, the feeder 
cattle complex has maintained its positive position and continues to trade 
higher into Tuesday's noon hour. The momentum that stemmed from Friday's lower 
placements was just the kick of encouragement that the market needed as it also 
ignited higher feeder cattle sales in the countryside. At this point, it's 
looking like the feeder cattle complex possesses enough support to potentially 
round out the day higher even without the live cattle market's support. May 
feeders are up $1.00 at $246.17, August feeders are up $0.90 at $259.40 and 
September feeders are up $1.35 at $260.72.


   Even with the midday pork cutout values being doing notably, the lean hog 
complex is charging onward and hopes that the day's afternoon cutout price will 
lend the market support. June lean hogs are up $2.12 at $107.62, July lean hogs 
are up $1.77 at $109.45 and August lean hogs are up $1.97 at $106.92. The cash 
cattle market still hasn't seen much packer interest develop, but with the 
market's stronger tone and the continued aggressive pace in processing, packers 
could get more aggressive later this afternoon or likely on Wednesday.

   The projected lean hog index for April 22 is up $0.14 at $91.45 and the 
actual index for April 19 is down $0.04 at $91.31. Hog prices on the Daily 
Direct Morning Hog Report average $91.01, ranging from $90.00 to $92.00 on 995 
head and a five-day rolling average of $89.60. Pork cutouts total 133.48 loads 
with 122.71 loads of pork cuts and 10.77 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: 
down $3.39, $98.31.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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