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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/03 12:03

   Live Cattle Futures Hold Narrow Gains at Midday 

   Light to moderate gains continue to hold at midday following mixed trade 
through much of the morning. The light volume seen through most of the morning 
continues to keep traders focused on additional late-day trade activity.   

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Live cattle futures have continued to hold light gains at midday after 
bouncing back and forth through the morning. The volatility in the livestock 
market continues to show the lack of overall direction and inability to set a 
longer-term market direction despite the strong discount already established in 
the complex. Hog futures have shifted lower at midday, adding concern to 
earlier pressure which developed Tuesday morning. Corn prices are lower. May 
corn futures are 14 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The 
Dow Jones is 151 points lower while Nasdaq is down 57 points.


   Light to moderate gains have redeveloped in nearby live cattle futures at 
midday. The support through the complex is uniform, although the ability to 
draw additional buyer activity to the market may bring increased activity to 
the table through the end of the session. June futures are holding at $116 per 
cwt with a 25 cent per cwt gain, but the lack of support in outside markets is 
limiting the overall direction of the market. Cash cattle markets are inactive 
with both bids and asking prices undeveloped at this point. Showlists are no 
better than mixed which is giving very little direction to the market. Beef 
cut-outs at midday are mixed, $1.04 higher (select) and down $1.54 per cwt 
(choice) with active movement of 117 total loads reported (45 loads of choice 
cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 39 loads of trimmings, 14 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle futures are mixed in a wide trading range as traders seem 
uninterested in stepping into the market following the steep market discounts 
and aggressive losses seen in the grain complex through the market. Front-month 
futures continue to hold gains of nearly $1 per cwt while deferred contracts 
are holding moderate to strong losses.     


   Lean hog futures have waffled back and forth through the morning as midday 
losses have developed after buyers have been unable to firmly develop and step 
into the market following the aggressive market support earlier in the week. 
The move higher in the complex continues to look for additional direction in 
both cash market direction as well as the pork complex. Cash prices are lower 
on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell 
$0.91 per cwt to $68.40 per cwt with the range from $64.50 to $71.00 per cwt on 
3,995 head reported sold. Cash prices higher on the Iowa Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.17 per cwt to 
$70.76 per cwt with the range from $69.50 to $71.00 per cwt on 615 head 
reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 156 loads selling with 
prices down $0.67 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/29 is at $71.77, up 0.64 with a 
projected two-day index of $71.77, up 0.66.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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