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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/18 13:34

   Moderate Pressure Develops Monday Morning   

   Initial support in the livestock market quickly eroded with very little 
additional buyer activity developing Monday. There is limited support through 
the complex.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   Light to moderate pressure developed through the entire livestock complex by 
midday. Prices moved lower in nearly all feeder and live cattle contracts as 
buyer interest seen last week eroded. Corn prices are lower in light trade. 
March corn futures are 1/2 cent per bushel lower. Stock markets are higher in 
light trade. The Dow Jones is 181 points higher while Nasdaq is up 62 points.

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Live cattle futures are mixed, which may spark some additional late-day 
moves. Front-month futures posted an 80-cent gain at midday as traders focused 
on stability in nearby contacts. However, the rest of the complex remains weak 
with early support giving way to sluggish activity and losses from 30 to 60 
cents per cwt. Additional market softness is expected over the near future. 
Cash cattle markets remain extremely quiet, but this is typical for a Monday as 
showlist distribution and inventory taking fill the hours. Bids and offers are 
still unavailable and may remain hard to pin down until midweek or later. 
Although trade is expected to remain moderately active yet this week, the 
pullback in processing schedules through the end of the year around the 
holidays will limit the number of cattle needed by packers. Beef cut-outs at 
midday are higher, $1.31 higher (select) and up $1.36 per cwt (choice) with 
active movement of 58 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads 
of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).  

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Initial strong gains in feeder cattle futures have quickly eroded with 
narrow losses in most contracts at midday. This is putting even more pressure 
on the potential to draw buyers back to the complex through early week trade. 
This may limit additional support over the near future, and leave traders 
looking for additional direction from both live cattle trade and outside 
markets.  

   LEAN HOGS:

   Lean hog futures trade is mixed late Monday morning following the inability 
of traders to uphold early buyer support. Additional trade may develop through 
the next couple of days, although price support may be hard to find as the 
recent trade volume has slowed and traders are starting to focus on upcoming 
market pressure through the end of the year. Cash prices are higher on the 
National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.14 
at $56.27 per cwt with the range from $52.50 to $57.87 on 6,120 head reported 
sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota 
Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 167 loads 
selling with carcass values falling $1.90 per cwt. Lean hog index for 12/14 is 
at $64.11 down $0.53 with a projected two-day index of $63.18, down $0.93.

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

    


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