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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/28 11:30

   Live Cattle Keep Monday's Momentum

   The live cattle contracts are the only market seeming to be able to keep 
with Monday's upward trek, as the lean hog and feeder cattle markets both trend 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   It's a mixed day for the livestock complex as both the feeder cattle and 
lean hog markets are leery of trading higher after Monday's aggressive venture, 
but the live cattle complex is keeping with Monday's vigorous pace. Asking 
prices in the South are noted at $165 to $166 but are still unestablished in 
the North. May corn is down 3/4 cent per bushel and May soybean meal is up 
$9.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 64.46 points.


   The live cattle market is the only market keeping with Monday's momentum out 
of the livestock complex. It's helping matters that boxed beef prices are 
finding some footing in this week's market and could potentially lead to 
stronger cash cattle trade. The nearby contracts have teetered between trading 
higher and trending lower, but the deferred contracts are consistently trading 
higher with no pressure seeming to bother their contracts. April live cattle 
are steady at $164.90, June live cattle are down $0.12 at $158.75 and August 
live cattle are steady at $158.60. It's too early in the week for any cash 
cattle trade to have developed, and with boxed beef prices trending higher, 
prices could easily trend $1.00 to $2.00 higher this week. Asking prices in the 
South are noted at $165 to $166 and are still unestablished in the North.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.52 ($280.88) and select up $0.94 
($270.66) with a movement of 57 loads (28.57 loads of choice, 11.94 loads of 
select, 7.86 loads of trim and 8.18 loads of ground beef).


   After rallying throughout Monday's market, the feeder cattle contracts are 
back to trading lower as traders look around and appraise the market for 
continued support. It is encouraging that the deferred live cattle contracts 
are trading higher, but the immediate live cattle contracts are under some 
pressure. The corn complex is only trading sideways, which doesn't add too much 
more pressure to feeders. April feeders are down $0.40 at $197.22, May feeders 
are down $0.55 at $200.82 and August feeders are down $0.12 at $216.82. 


   After an ambitious Monday, the lean hog complex is trading lower, seeming to 
need additional support in order to keep its momentum. April lean hogs are down 
$1.10 at $77.52, June lean hogs are down $1.45 at $91.62 and July lean hogs are 
down $1.45 at $93.70. Pork demand has seen better interest over the last couple 
of days, which could lend traders the additional support they're desiring if 
Tuesday's afternoon pork cutout values are able to close higher.

   The projected lean hog index for March 27 is down $0.32 at $76.25, and the 
actual index for March 24 is down $0.42 at $76.57. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.58 with a weighted average of $75.45. 
Pork cutouts total 197.62 with 171.10 loads of pork cuts and 26.52 loads of 
trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.12, $81.10.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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