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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/01 11:25

   Cattle Find Late-Week Technical Support

   Traders may have been cautious about overly supporting the livestock 
contracts -- especially the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts -- early 
this week, but Friday's market has stumbled into ample support. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Thus far it's been a supportive day for the livestock complex as all three 
of the markets are trading higher into Friday's noon hour. The market hasn't 
seen any new cash cattle sales reported and it's looking like the bulk of this 
week's trade is done. May corn is down 5 3/4 cents per bushel and May soybean 
meal is up $3.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 10.92 points.


   The live cattle complex is back to trading higher as traders have found some 
technical support in the market and seem to be at terms with the fact that cash 
cattle traded steady to $2.00 lower this week. Ideally cattlemen would have 
liked to keep the market fully steady as opposed to seeing Northern dressed 
cattle trade $2.00 lower; but thankfully the demand shown in strong boxed beef 
prices has eased that thorn a bit. April live cattle are up $1.62 at $186.97, 
June live cattle are up $1.60 at $182.82 and August live cattle are up $1.07 at 
$181.77. No new cash cattle trade has been reported Friday morning and it looks 
like the majority of the week's business is done. Throughout the week, Southern 
live cattle have traded at mostly $183, which is steady with last week's 
weighted average, and Northern dressed cattle have traded at mostly $290, which 
is $2.00 lower than last week's weighted average.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $1.91 ($306.11) and select up $1.81 
($295.99) with a movement of 69 loads (53.61 loads of choice, 5.03 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 10.11 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is back to trading higher as the market is taking 
comfort in the fact that corn prices are trading slightly lower and live cattle 
contracts are back to trading higher. March feeders are up $2.95 at $251.95, 
April feeders are up $3.05 at $256.77 and May feeders are up $2.65 at $258.77. 
Traders gave little attention to the feeder cattle complex earlier in the week; 
but after some days of slightly lower closes, the market has seemed to find 
technical support, which is helping the complex trade higher into Friday's noon 


   The lean hog complex is trading mostly higher as the market has found 
support around the $86.00 threshold. Some of the market's deferred contracts 
are trading slightly lower, but strong export support seems to be helping the 
contracts trade higher currently. April lean hogs are up $0.10 at $86.72, June 
lean hogs are up $0.35 at $100.55 and July lean hogs are up $0.25 at $101.27. 
Pork cutout values are sharply higher at noon, largely driven by the $25.97 
gain the belly.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 2/29/2024 is up $0.11 at $80.26, and 
the actual index for 2/28/2024 is up $0.24 at $80.15. Hog prices on the Daily 
Direct Morning Hog Report average $71.42, ranging from $67.50 to $74.50 on 885 
head and a five-day rolling average of $71.28. Pork cutouts total 218.57 loads 
with 208.87 loads of pork buts and 9.71 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up 
$5.32, $95.54.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at

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