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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/24 11:51

   Meat Futures Mixed at Midday

   Lean hog contracts are moderately lower near the noon hour, checked by 
profit-taking and fundamental worries. The cattle complex is mostly higher, 
especially in the feeder pit. 

By John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cash cattle trade remains untested near midday. Preliminary bids of $142 
in the South and $234 to $236 in the North have not been successful in 
attracting selling interest. Asking prices remain firm at $147 to $148 in the 
South and $238-plus in the North. Corn futures are narrowly mixed at midday. 
May corn futures are 7 cents per bushel higher. Stock markets are mostly higher 
at midday.


   Live cattle pit is narrowly mixed near midday as traders position ahead of 
late-week cash news and the April 1 Cattle on Feed report due Friday. Spot 
April remains several dollars under the most recent cash test. Board discounts 
suggest that traders are nervous about building fed supplies over the next 30 
to 60 days. Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.57 per cwt higher (select) 
at $222.24 and up $1.42 per cwt (choice) at $234.06 with light movement of 55 
total loads reported (34 loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of select cuts, 2 loads 
of trimmings, 7 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle contracts are sporting decent gains near midday. Indeed, 
several contracts are once again flirting with new highs. Some of the buying 
appears to be tied to reports of decent early spring rains and improving 
pasture conditions in parts of the central Plains. The CME Feeder Cattle Index 
for 04/22 177.35, up .22.


   Lean hog futures are moderately lower for the most part with only token 
strength noted in far deferreds. Traders appear to be taking profits following 
Wednesday's limit move. Summer contracts are now trading substantial premiums 
over spot cash, and some are nervous that futures may be too optimistic given 
lackluster fundamentals immediately in view. Cash prices are significantly 
lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average 
price is $4.84 lower at $110.49, from a range of $108.11 to $116.50. Cash 
prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The morning National Pork Plant Report showed 148.43 
loads with the carcass cutout losing 88 cents. Picnics and loins were 
particularly weak. Lean hog index for 4/21 is at $118.48 down 1.17, with a 
projected 04/22 two-day index of $117.69, down 0.79. 

   For more from John see



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