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DTN Early Word Opening Livestock       05/04 06:10
   Cattle Complex Seems Staged to Open Lower at Midweek

   Live and feeder cattle futures are likely to open lower, pressured by
struggling beef demand and long liquidation. Lean hog contracts are set to open
on a mixed basis tied to a combination of spillover buying and midweek
profit-taking.

By John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst



Cattle: Steady-$2 LR:   Futures: 25-50 LR   Live Equiv $138.63  - 2.24 *
Hogs:   Steady-$1 HR    Futures: Mixed      Lean Equiv $ 87.57  - 1.16 **

* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue

GENERAL COMMENTS:

   Preliminary cattle buying interest could start to surface here and there
Wednesday. Yet early bids are likely to be quite defensive given the aggressive
way the boxed beef trade is retreating. Stumbling futures have been leading
feedlot cash lower for the last several weeks, spurred by extraordinarily
strong basis levels. Therefore, the ability of the board to stabilize through
the balance of the week is likely to be crucial in determining the cash market.
Live and feeder cattle futures are expected to open moderately lower, pressured
by long liquidation, souring cash expectations, and eroding carcass value.
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