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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/24 11:37

   Live Cattle and Lean Hogs Find Support Midday Friday

   As the market nears the noon hour, both the live cattle and lean hog 
contracts are finally trading higher.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS:

   Both the live cattle and lean hog markets are trading higher into Friday's 
noon hour while the feeder cattle complex is still trading lower due to the 
onset of higher corn prices. No more cash cattle trade has developed and it's 
looking like the bulk of the week's business is done with. May corn is up 8 
cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $4.70. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average is down 88.55 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

   It's invigorating to see the live cattle contracts trading higher after 
enduring yet another bearish week. June live cattle are up $0.95 at $156.77, 
August live cattle are up $0.85 at $156.60 and October live cattle are up $0.80 
at $160.85. The spot June contract is still trading below the market's 100-day 
moving average, but if the market can keep its momentum through closing, taking 
out that threshold could be attainable on Monday. No more cash cattle trade has 
developed as packers are seeming to have fulfilled their needs for the week. 
Some more clean-up trade could develop ahead of the weekend, but it will only 
likely be cleanup in its nature. Throughout the week, Northern dressed deals 
have been marked at mostly $264 to $265, steady to $1 higher than last week's 
weighted averages. Southern live sales were listed at mostly $163, $1 lower 
than last week's weighted averages.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.94 ($280.84) and select up $1.18 
($270.07) with a movement of 76 loads (60.08 loads of choice, 6.03 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 9.67 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

   With corn prices trending $0.08 to $0.09 higher, the feeder cattle contracts 
have turned red and are trending lower into Friday's noon hour. Even though the 
live cattle contracts are trading higher, the live cattle market's support 
isn't enough to offset the pressure of the rallying corn complex. April feeders 
are down $0.47 at $194.52, May feeders are down $1.17 at $197.42 and August 
feeders are down $0.52 at $214.10.

LEAN HOGS:

   After trading lower for the last week, the lean hog complex has finally 
found some support in Friday's market. April lean hogs are up $1.70 at $77.45, 
June lean hogs are up $2.20 at $91.57 and July lean hogs are up $2.17 at 
$93.55. It's hard to put a rhyme or reason behind why the market has suddenly 
come into support, but it has! Part of the market's support could be stemming 
from Thursday's strong export report and the stronger pork cutout close.

   The projected lean hog index for March 23 is down $0.40 at $76.99 and the 
actual index for March 22 is down $0.44 at $77.39. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.32 with a weighted averaged $76.18, 
ranging from $71.00 to $77.50 on 4,535 head and five-day rolling average of 
$76.64. Pork cutouts total 135.17 loads with 122.46 loads of pork cuts and 
12.71 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.26 $81.56.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached shayle.stewart@dtn.com




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