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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/23 12:15

   Narrow Price Ranges Holding Thursday

   Limited activity is seen Thursday morning with light volume seen through the 
entire complex. Prices have backed away from early morning live cattle gains. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Strong early support in live cattle and feeder cattle markets have backed 
away with increased trade interest holding through the complex. Corn futures 
are lower in moderate trade. July corn futures are 3 cents lower. Stock markets 
are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 96 points lower with Nasdaq down 33 
points. 

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Light buying continues at midday in nearby contracts following strong 
underlying support from the cold storage report, and export sales report which 
posted increased exports for the week. Traders are looking for increased short- 
and long-term demand, even though the upcoming cattle on feed report may post 
record numbers of cattle on feedyards. This may bring some additional 
volatility through the complex going into the long holiday weekend as well as 
next week. Cash cattle interest is sluggish Thursday morning with light to 
moderate live cattle sales seen in the north at $116 per cwt. This is $1 per 
cwt lower than last week's live prices in the North. Bids are seen in all other 
areas in the same range as Wednesday. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, 
$0.86 higher (select) and up $0.76 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 73 
total loads reported (37 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 4 loads 
of trimmings, 18 loads of ground beef).

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Initial gains in feeder cattle trade have slowly eroded through the morning 
with traders holding a mixed trading range from 20 cents lower to 15 cents 
higher. Strong export sales gains for beef has sparked additional support 
through the complex with May and August futures holding a 10 to 15 cent gain as 
very limited movement is seen in live cattle trade. The underlying concern 
surrounding aggressive cattle on feed report expectations which will continue 
to limit market support over the next couple of weeks.

   LEAN HOGS: 

   Lean hog futures are mixed in limited activity with June futures holding a 
narrow 5 cent loss, while other 2019 contracts are holding gains of 10 to 30 
cents per cwt. The focus on a strong export sale to China in the mornings 
export sales report has offset early sharp losses in the market as traders back 
away from the concern of eroding demand and move more to the short term 
potential for growth in the complex. Limited pressure is still seen in deferred 
contracts, although limited movement is expected through the end of the session 
based on current price levels, and recent market pressure limiting overall long 
term support through the complex. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $1.11 at $80.33 per 
cwt with the range from $72.00 to $83.00 on 7,761 head reported sold. Cash 
prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The 
weighted average price is up $1.75 at $81.26 per cwt with the range from $78.00 
to $83.00 on 5,341 head reported sold. Pork values firmed Thursday with mixed 
triple-digit ranges seen in the complex. Pork cutouts added $0.28 per cwt at 
$85.11 per cwt with 149 loads traded. Lean hog index for 5/21 is $84.39, up 
0.02, with a projected two-day index at $84.36, down 0.03.

   Rick Kment can be reached at rick.kment@dtn.com 


(BAS)

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