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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          09/22 12:15

   Cattle Futures Pop Higher at Midday, Supported by Positive Cash Signs

   The cattle complex near midday is generally higher with triple-digit gains 
driving nearby. On the other hand, lean hog issues remain under pressure, 
checked by defensive cash and product news.

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst


   Moderate trade volume have surfaced in the southern tier of cattle feeding 
country with most live sales marked at $108, $2 higher than last week's 
business. Northern bids of $108/$166-172 have not yet generated much traffic. 
Asking prices on unsold cattle are around $110 in the South and $172-174 plus 
in the North. According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.20 
lower ($46.00-50.50, weighted average $48.65). Corn futures are generally 
holding gains around 3 cents near the top of the hour, supported by spillover 
buying flowing from the bean market. Equities at midday are lower with the Dow 
off 29 points and the Nasdaq negative by 3.


   Live futures are well supported at midday thanks to evidence of greater 
packer spending in the country and technical buying interest. Most contracts 
are 20 to 90 higher at this time with the front end better served than the 
back. Some profit taking could surface late as traders position ahead of the on 
feed report set for release at 2:00 CDT. Beef cut-outs are steady/firm at 
midday, steady (choice, $191.51) to up .09 (select, $188.50) with light to 
moderate box movement (41 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, 15 
loads of trimmings, 20 loads of coarse grinds).


   For the most part, feeder issues are moderately higher, feeding off the firm 
undertone in the live market, Nearby contracts seem to be held down a bit by 
the discounted nature of the cash index.


   Lean hog futures have experienced a tough week, sagging lower almost every 
day thanks to the non-stop erosion of cash sales and carcass value. Once again, 
nearby issues are bearing most of the bearish burden. Prices are generally 15 
to 117 lower with spot October once again setting a new contract low. The 
carcass value at midday is quoted moderately higher with processing strength 
overshadowing weakness on fresh cuts. Pork cut-out: $73.63, up 0.59.

   CME cash lean index for 09/20: 60.12, off 0.80 (DTN Projected lean index for 
09/21: 59.08, off 1.04).

   John A. Harrington can be reached at 


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