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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/26 11:50

   Firm gains quickly moved into the market late Thursday morning as June live 
cattle posted triple-digit gains. The renewed buyer support is based on 
sluggish market activity, more than changing fundamentals developing across the 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Trade volume remains light to moderate across livestock futures as gains 
have quickly moved back into the complex. This has created a shift from the 
early trade direction, which pushed markets lower on fundamental market 
weakness in the cattle complex. Traders in the hog complex have moved away from 
the narrow pressure based on firming cash hog support, with gains developing in 
most nearby contracts. Corn prices are lower in light trade. July corn futures 
are 1 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 76 
points higher while Nasdaq is up 45 points.


   Moderate-to-strong buyer support has quickly moved back into the cattle 
complex with front-month June futures posting firm triple-digit gains. This 
significant midday adjustment in livestock markets has little to do with market 
fundamentals, which still remain weak due to lower cash markets and mixed beef 
values but lack of overall market activity before the long holiday weekend. The 
shift from moderate pressure early through the session continues to create 
adjustments as the day continues. Cash cattle are untraded Thursday morning 
following light-to-moderate activity in both areas midweek. It is expected that 
movement in the South will be adequate for the week, but additional trade will 
be needed to be done through the North. Bids are developing in the North with 
prices seen at $130 to $132 live and $208 to $210 dressed basis. Asking prices 
on cattle left on show lists are $134 and higher live basis and $210 and 
higher. Cash business done earlier in the week are generally $2 per cwt lower 
in the South and $5 per cwt lower in the North. Beef cut-outs at midday are 
mixed, $0.43 lower (select) and up $0.07 per cwt (choice) with light movement 
of 59 total loads reported (22 loads of choice cuts, 25 loads of select cuts, 8 
loads of trimmings, 5 loads of ground beef). 


   Despite firm selling pressure early in the session, strong triple-digit 
gains quickly moved into the feeder cattle market, changing the course of 
market direction at midday. August futures have moved above $150 per cwt with 
prices seeing more than $1.50-per-cwt gains as traders are quickly adjusting to 
previous market losses and trying to adjust to market losses seen early in the 
week. An attempt to make an end-of-the-week rally and shift prices higher would 
not only help to sustain weekly chart prices, but would also mean adjusting 
monthly charts heading into the summer months. 


   Following the lackluster interest seen through the morning, buyer support 
has moved into the lean hog complex as cash support has developed during the 
morning reports. This has moved all nearby futures contracts higher and sparked 
increased underlying commercial support through the complex. A fundamental move 
higher through the end of the month could bring increased technical and 
fundamental interest back into the market, which may bring even more upward 
market potential during the summer months. June futures are leading the complex 
higher, testing the market with prices reaching at $80.50 per cwt at midday. 
Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The 
weighted average price added $0.15 at $70.46 per cwt with the range from $65.00 
to $72.00 on 5,416 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa 
Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added 
$0.46 at $71.37 per cwt with the range from $65.00 to $72.00 on 1,206 head 
reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 100 loads selling with 
prices adding $0.92 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/23 is at $76.07 up $0.13 with 
a projected two-day index of $76.25 up $0.18. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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