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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/18 11:52

   Late-Morning Buying Develops in Hog Trade 

   Triple-digit pressure eroded Thursday morning, allowing for increased buyer 
support to redevelop across lean hog futures. Cattle trade remains lower as 
limited softness is seen in most contracts.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Triple-digit losses in nearby lean hog futures developed early Thursday, but 
active losses quickly eroded, sparking increased buyer activity in most 
contracts. Corn futures are lower in light trade. September corn futures are 7 
cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 83 points 
lower with NASDAQ down 27 points. 


   Live cattle futures have shifts in a narrow range in either direction 
through the morning. This is limiting overall trade volume Thursday morning 
with very limited long-term direction seen late in the week. Even though firm 
underlying support is still holding across the complex, the lack of consistency 
through the market may add to price variability over the upcoming days and 
weeks. Cash cattle markets remain quiet Thursday with a few bids restated in 
the North. Live bids of $113 are developing with dressed bids of $182. At this 
point, asking prices are not budging from $114 live and $186 dressed, which may 
delay any additional activity until Friday. Additional cash trade could be 
pushed off until after the cattle reports Friday afternoon. Boxed Beef cut-outs 
at midday are higher, $0.48 higher (select) and up $0.62 per cwt (choice) with 
light movement of 66 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of 
select cuts, 9 loads of trimmings, 17 loads of ground beef).


   Early gains have been offset by light to moderate pressure seen through the 
entire feeder cattle complex midday. Traders are starting to focus on 
adjustments ahead of the cattle on feed report released late Friday afternoon. 
This will likely have the greatest impact of the two reports, although at this 
point there is uncertainty of direction. Even though estimated cattle 
placements are lower, the wide range of estimates may diminish the confidence 
that traders put in these estimates before the report is released.


   Wide market shifts developed Thursday morning as traders try to bring 
stability back into the complex midday following aggressive market swings over 
the last two session. Triple-digit losses developed through most of the 
morning, although renewed focus on firm cash market support and potential 
demand strength is offsetting early losses, moving prices in mixed activity 
late morning. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog 
report. The weighted average price is up $0.62 at $72.15 per cwt with the range 
from $58 to $76 on 11,567 head reported sold. Pork values surged higher 
following an $18.64 per cwt rally in belly cuts. Pork cutouts gained $1.89 per 
cwt at $78.37 per cwt with 166 loads traded. Lean hog index for 7/16 is $70.79, 
up 0.17, with a projected two-day index is $71.52, up 0.73.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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