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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/17 12:07

   Live Cattle Futures Maintain Moderate Morning Gains   

   Light to moderate buyer support is seen in cattle futures, which is helping 
to draw additional support back into the complex. The focus on sustaining short 
term momentum in front month February live cattle contracts may spark firm end 
of the session gains.  

By Rick Kment
DTN Livestock Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   Livestock futures are holding trade activity in a narrow range Tuesday 
morning despite the firm buyer interest developing in nearby cattle futures. 
The outside market commodity support is helping to bring spill over buying to 
nearby cattle trade. Corn prices are lower in light trade. March corn futures 
are 6 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 45 
points lower while Nasdaq is down 28 points.

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Firm buyer support continues to hold in nearby live cattle futures trade as 
the underlying support from outside commodity markets is helping to draw 
unified buyer support to the complex. This is pushing front month futures 
contracts 80 cents higher with prices starting to be established above $119 per 
cwt. The potential exists to draw additional support back to the complex, but 
there is likely needed to be firming support from fundamentals. Cash cattle 
markets are quiet with no bids developing yet this week, and asking prices 
generally quiet. A few asking prices have been suggested at $122 in the South 
and $192 in the North, but it is likely going to be the second half of the week 
before active trade develops. Overall show lists have become generally smaller 
through the week, putting more emphasis on tight supplies. Beef cut-outs at 
midday are mixed, $0.29 lower (select) and up $0.38 per cwt (choice) with light 
movement of 52 total loads reported (31 loads of choice cuts, 13 loads of 
select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 8 loads of ground beef). 

   FEEDER CATTLE: 

   Mixed trade is seen in feeder cattle futures with traders focusing on the 
overall lack of buyer support seen during the morning. There continues to be 
growing uneasiness concerning the wide ranging gains in commodity markets as 
well as increased overall concern that trade interest may slow through the end 
of the month. The lack of consistency in beef values in the morning report has 
added even more uncertainty to deferred feeder cattle trade. Moderate gains of 
60 to 80 cents are holding in spring contracts, while fall contracts are 
holding narrow losses Tuesday morning.

   LEAN HOGS:

   Little movement has been seen through the entire lean hog complex with 
prices once again mixed at midday. Narrow price shifts have developed through 
the morning, but the inability to break out of the tightly grouped trading 
ranges has limited overall activity levels and the interest of most buyers to 
step back into the market. There may be some additional support seen through 
the next couple of weeks as more focus is placed on overall hog numbers 
available to the market. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning 
cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.25 at $61.71 per cwt with 
the range from $58.00 to $63.00 on 4,743 head reported sold. Cash prices are 
lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price fell $0.07 at $62.84 per cwt with the range from $58.00 to $63.00 
on 2,453 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 168 loads 
selling with prices falling $1.70 per cwt. Lean hog index for 1/13 is at $64.10 
up $1.18 with a projected two-day index of $64.84 up $0.74. 

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


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