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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          08/15 11:41

   Cattle Futures Shift Higher

   Narrow trading ranges have held in most livestock contracts Tuesday morning. 
This may keep market interest sluggish through most of the session.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Gains have held in cattle trade through the morning with feeder cattle trade 
once again setting the pace for higher moving market prices. Limited activity 
is seen through the entire complex, which may keep markets hovering in the 
current range through the end of the session. Corn markets are lower in light 
trade activity. September corn futures are 3/4 cent lower. Stock markets are 
lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 223 points higher, while Nasdaq is down 
119 points.


   Firm gains have continued to hold in cattle trade early Wednesday despite 
pressure in most other commodity trade. Nearby live cattle futures are stuck in 
a tight trading range through the morning. Gains in the complex are limited to 
50- to 65-cent market moves, while traders seem generally comfortable with the 
ability to draw additional activity back into the complex. But overall volume 
remains sluggish, which may continue to limit the upside in market activity 
over the near future. Cash cattle interest is starting to improve through the 
morning, although it appears that active trade may still be a ways in the 
distance. Bids are seen through the morning at $108 live basis in most areas 
with dressed bids developing near $172 to $173 per cwt. Asking prices are at 
$112 to $114 live and $178 and higher dressed. This is expected to push most 
active trade into Thursday or Friday, with late Friday a strong possibility. 
The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction Wednesday listed a total of 488 head, all from 
Kansas, with zero actually sold, 488 head listed as unsold, and zero head 
listed as PO (Passed Offer). Asking prices ranged from $110.00 to $111.00. All 
cattle listed had a one to nine day delivery date. Boxed Beef cut-outs at 
midday are mixed, $0.58 lower (select) and up $0.74 per cwt (choice) with light 
movement of 75 total loads reported (29 loads of choice cuts, 35 loads of 
select cuts, five loads of trimmings, six loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle trade is leading the cattle futures complex higher with 
increased overall support developing in nearby and deferred contracts midday. 
Although prices have wavered through most of the morning, gains have been 
consistent, with markets holding near session highs at midday. All contracts 
are grouped in a tight trading range from 80 cents to $1 per cwt, with 
September contracts leading the market higher with a $1 per cwt gain. There may 
be some additional buyer support moving back into the complex as traders assess 
the pressure during early August with longer-term market support likely to 
develop in the coming weeks.


   Early support in lean hog futures have faded following pressure in most 
other commodity and financial markets. Nearby lean hog trade is mixed within a 
narrow range from 5 cents lower to 7 cents higher. Although trade volume is 
likely to remain sluggish, prices are likely to shift higher and lower within a 
limited range through the rest of the session. This may not create any market 
signals given the strong underlying support in the complex, but may curb 
short-term support from moving back into the complex over the near future. Cash 
prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price is down $0.74 at $42.04 per cwt with the range from $40.00 to 
$43.50 on 6,974 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota 
Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.67 at 
$42.07 per cwt with the range from $41.50 to $42.50 on 2,424 head reported 
sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted a total of 212 loads selling with 
cutout values falling $1.09 per cwt at $70.27 per cwt in the morning 
report.Lean hog index for 8/13 is at $56.81 down 1.47 with a projected two-day 
index of $55.23, down 1.58.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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