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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/19 11:53

   Moderate to Strong Losses Develop Friday Morning  

   Narrow pressure seen early in the market has limited trade activity through 
the complex. This may bring additional uncertainty to the entire trade. 
Triple-digit losses are holding in feeder cattle trade. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   Pressure is seen in all livestock markets with aggressive triple-digit 
losses in feeder cattle markets leading the complex lower. Although trade is 
still sluggish, the overall lack of follow-through buying activity may bring 
additional uncertainty to the market. Corn prices are higher in light trade. 
March corn futures are 1/4 cent higher Friday. Stock markets are mixed in light 
trade. The Dow Jones is 54 points lower while Nasdaq is up 24 points.

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Narrow to moderate losses have developed across the live cattle futures. 
There is likely to be some additional market shifts seen in the last couple 
hours of trade, although most traders may focus on increased trade volume over 
the next couple of weeks. The strong gains seen earlier in the week has also 
put more emphasis on the desire and need to spark some additional trade volume 
and square positions before the weekend. Cash cattle sales are still 
undeveloped Friday, although trade still needs to be done before either side 
can call it a week. This may add to the uncertainty in futures trade as packers 
are unwilling to aggressively increase bids at this point. Live bids are seen 
at $118 in the North and South, while dressed bids are holding at $192 to $194 
per cwt. Asking prices are seen at $124 and higher live and $195 to $197 
dressed basis. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.48 lower (select) 
and down $0.58 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 67 total loads reported 
(41 loads of choice cuts, 12  loads of select cuts, 9 loads of trimmings, 6 
loads of ground beef). 

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Triple-digit losses have quickly developed across the complex late Friday 
morning. The inability to bring back the buyer support seen over the past two 
trading sessions has created underlying position taking with nearby contracts 
holding losses of $1 to $1.30 per cwt. The follow through weakness seen in live 
cattle markets through the morning may continue to add softness to the entire 
cattle trade, and push feeder cattle futures even lower.    

   LEAN HOGS:

   Mixed trade is seen midday Friday with traders focusing on the overall lack 
of buyer support willing to move into the market. There is growing support for 
market stability in deferred contracts, while the weakness that has moved into 
the cattle trade is starting to erode overall market gains through the rest of 
the trading session. February futures are trading 75 cents per cwt lower with 
the rest of the market stuck in a narrow range. Cash prices are higher on the 
National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.13 
at $69.84 per cwt with the range from $63.50 to $71.50 on 5,243 head reported 
sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog 
report. The weighted average price is up $0.02 at $69.90 per cwt with the range 
from $66.50 to $71.50 on 2,695 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant 
Report posted 146 loads selling with carcass values adding $0.19 per cwt. Lean 
hog index for 1/17 is at $73.55 up $0.56 with a projected two-day index of 
$73.67, up $0.12. 

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


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