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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/20 12:14

   Traders Back Away From Early Losses 

   Sharp early losses seen in cattle and hog futures Friday morning have 
moderated through midday with light but noticeable buyer support slowly moving 
into the complex. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Moderate to strong pressure has continued to develop across the livestock 
complex in early hours of trade Friday. Prices are now mixed with light buyer 
support trying to develop in the complex. This is helping to bring additional 
stability into all markets. Corn prices are lower in light trade. May corn 
futures are 4 cents higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow 
Jones is 211 points lower while Nasdaq is down 91 points.


   Mixed trade is seen Friday with front month April futures drawing some 
moderate buyer support, while the rest of the complex is holding narrow losses. 
April contracts have rebounded from strong early pressure with an 80 cent gain 
developing across the market. This is helping to bring some support to the 
entire market, although contracts still remain slightly lower. It is possible 
that additional buyer support may develop over the next couple of hours. This 
could spark some additional interest into all cattle trade. Cash cattle trade 
has developed Friday morning in the North with live deals seen at $122 to $124 
per cwt. This is generally $4 per cwt higher than last week's price levels and 
falls in line with gains seen in the South earlier in the week. Dressed 
business is still yet to develop in the North but bids are becoming more active 
from $190 to $192 per cwt. It is likely that active trade will be seen through 
the next few hours. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.33 higher 
(select) and up $0.21 per cwt (choice) with active movement of 95 total loads 
reported (39 loads of choice cuts, 40 loads of select cuts, 7 loads of 
trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef). 


   Light to moderate losses continue to be seen in feeder cattle futures Friday 
morning. But prices have quickly backed away from sharp triple-digit losses 
seen initially in morning trade. This may allow for some renewed buyer support 
to step back into the market during the end of the session as traders continue 
to find some stability before the weekend. April futures are holding a 17 cent 
loss, limiting additional downward market moves that could continue to develop 
across the complex.


   Lean hog futures have posted light to moderate moves through the morning 
with front month May contracts holding a 45 cent gain. The rest of the complex 
remains sluggish with losses holding through the market. Most trade is 20 to 50 
cents per cwt lower as underlying pressure is seen in summer and fall contract 
months based on overall market uncertainty and demand concerns. There is likely 
to be very little additional market shifts seen before the end of the session, 
allowing for traders to reassess market direction early next week. Cash prices 
are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average 
price is up $0.36 at $57.87 per cwt with the range from $50.00 to $61.50 on 
3,480 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.41 at $58.19 per 
cwt with the range from $50.00 to $61.50 on 1,805 head reported sold. The 
National Pork Plant Report posted 205 loads selling with carcass values falling 
$0.03 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/18 is at $55.97 up 0.92 with a projected 
two-day index of $56.80, up 0.83.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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