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Thursday, April 26, 2018  
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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/25 12:19

   Cattle Buyers Step Back Into the Market

   Firm gains have developed in cattle trade midday following sluggish and 
mixed market direction through most of the morning. Hog prices are firming on 
increased trade activity. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Firming support has moved into the cattle market through late morning. This 
is helping to bring additional underlying support to the entire complex. Lean 
hog futures remained under pressure early in the session, but have moved higher 
at midday in nearby contracts. Corn prices are higher in light trade. May corn 
futures are 5 cents higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow 
Jones is 19 points lower while Nasdaq is up 2 points.


   Moderate to strong buyer support is attempting to step back into the live 
cattle trade. This may help to draw additional buyer interest through not only 
late Wednesday trade, but through the rest of the week. April futures are 
leading the market with an 82 cent gain, as buyers seem content to back away 
from early price pressure. Cash cattle interest is sluggish with only a few 
bids developing in the South at $119 per cwt. Interest is likely to increase 
through the day, although trade may be held off until later in the week. The 
Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 3,194 head, with zero 
actually sold, 2,966 head listed as unsold, and 228 head listed as PO (Passed 
Offer). The state by state breakdown looks like this: KS 365 total head, with 0 
head sold, 137 head unsold, 228 head listed as PO ($120.25-$121.00); NE 2,829 
total head, with 0 head, 2,829 head unsold, and zero head listed as PO; TX - no 
cattle reported; CO - no cattle reported; IA - no cattle reported; other states 
(OK, SD, MN) - no cattle reported. The delivery date/weighted averages 
breakdown is as listed: 1-9 day delivery: 3,194 head total, 0 head sold; 1-17 
day delivery - no cattle reported; 10-17 day delivery - no cattle reported; 
17-30 day delivery - no cattle reported. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are 
higher, $1.55 higher (select) and up $0.96 per cwt (choice) with active 
movement of 85 total loads reported (41 loads of choice cuts, 20 loads of 
select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of ground beef). 


   Feeder cattle futures have posted moderate gains at midday after struggling 
to gain much momentum through the morning. Early mixed trade have given way to 
light buyer activity with prices 20 to 50 cents per cwt higher. Given the price 
shift late morning, some additional buyer support may continue to move back 
into the complex and add underlying interest to the market. 


   Early pressure seen in lean hog futures has eased at midday with the overall 
lack of additional volume moving into the market allowed nearby prices to shift 
higher. May contracts are leading the complex higher with a 42 cent per cwt 
gain. Other nearby contracts are hovering between 10 and 25 cents per cwt 
higher with the focus on market activity and trade volume through the rest of 
the complex. Pressure in deferred markets continue, but this is limiting any 
additional movement into most contracts. Cash prices are higher on the National 
Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.16 at 
$58.23 per cwt with the range from $52.00 to $59.00 on 3,441 head reported 
sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota 
Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 167 loads 
selling with carcass values adding $1.46 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/23 is at 
$59.00 up 1.12 with a projected two-day index of $60.44, up 1.44.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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