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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/21 11:51

   Cattle Head Higher Wednesday While Hogs Lack Support 

   Traders are cautious about overly supporting the lean hog market as pork 
cutout values are lower. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cattle contracts see modest support from traders at midweek but the lean 
hog contracts aren't seeing the same level of interest as traders are concerned 
about the lag in pork cutout values. No cash cattle trade has developed, and 
given that packers haven't offered up any bids yet, it's likely that trade will 
be delayed until Thursday or Friday. March corn is down 7 1/4 cents per bushel 
and May soybean meal is down $5. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 80.02 


   The live cattle contracts started the day cautious as traders were slow to 
come to the market, but as time passed, trader interest and enthusiasm 
improved. All contracts are trading higher into Wednesday's noon hour. February 
live cattle are up $0.35 at $184.70, April live cattle are up $0.70 at $188.02 
and June live cattle are up $0.47 at $183.42. No cash cattle interest has risen 
as packers are yet to offer up any bids but asking prices are noted in the 
south at $184 to $185 and remain unestablished in the north. Trade isn't 
expected to develop until Thursday or potentially even Friday

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: Choice up $0.84 ($298.21) and select down $2.50 
($285.32) with a movement of 77 loads (41.00 loads of choice, 11.02 loads of 
select, 10.55 loads of trim and 13.95 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex continues to trade higher as the market finds 
ample support from the live cattle market's higher trend and fully expects 
Friday's Cattle on Feed report to be bullish for its market. March feeders are 
up $0.05 at $251.42, April feeders are up $0.77 at $256.11 and May feeders are 
up $1.02 at $259.15. It's been noted in sales again this week that cattle that 
can make grass cattle this summer are seeing strong interest as buyers are 
concerned that if they wait to buy their grass calves in May/June, there may 
not be enough stock available.


   The lean hog complex has traded back and forth throughout the day, but as 
Wednesday's noon hour approaches, the market is currently trading lower. Part 
of the market's cautiousness stems from that pork cutout values are lower 
again. This week's export data won't be shared until Friday but hog enthusiasts 
are hoping sales will be strong again this week. April lean hogs are steady at 
$85.67, June lean hogs are down $0.30 at $97.87 and July lean hogs are down 
$0.17 at $98.85.

   The projected lean hog index is delayed from the source. Hog prices on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report average $72.48, ranging from $65 to $73.50 on 
3,270 head and a five-day rolling average of $70.46. Pork cutouts total 147.77 
loads with 105.33 loads of pork cuts and 42.45 loads of trim. Pork cutout 
values: Down $1.45, $90.99.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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