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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/14 11:59

   Cattle Futures Back Away From Early Gains   

   Moderate to strong support in nearby lean hog prices have pulled the focus 
away from the lightly traded cattle market that has eroded at midday Friday. 
Light trade is expected to be seen through the rest of the session. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   After posting light gains for most of the morning, buyer support is limited 
in cattle trade, allowing prices to shift lower in live cattle and feeder 
cattle markets. Hog futures are mixed to mostly higher with firm support still 
seen nearby contracts. Corn markets are higher in light trade. March corn 
futures are 2 cents higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones 
is 417 points lower with Nasdaq down 98 points. 


   Firm losses have developed midmorning Friday with prices steady to 52 cents 
per cwt lower in limited trade. The focus on moderate pressure quickly 
developing in the feeder cattle trade as the morning continues has sparked 
additional underlying support through the entire market. Cash cattle are 
starting to improve with bids in all areas midday Friday. Live bids are seen 
from $115 to $119 per cwt live with $118 to $119 seen in the South. Dressed 
bids are developing at $185 to $187 with $187 seen through most of Nebraska. At 
this point there still remains a moderate gap between asking prices and bids, 
but deals may start to develop within the next few hours. Asking prices remain 
at $120 to $122 live and $192 and higher dressed. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday 
are higher, $3.24 higher (select) and up $0.25 per cwt (choice) with light 
movement of 45 total loads reported (30 loads of choice cuts, 7 loads of select 
cuts, no loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).


   Despite trade firming through most of the morning, there continues to be 
some late-morning pressure developing in front month futures. A portion of the 
latest market softness is focusing on the firming corn market gains seen 
through the complex. Front-month futures are holding a 45 cent loss at midday, 
while other contracts are mixed in moderate range from 50 cents lower to 50 
cents higher. 


   Mixed trade is seen in lean hog futures as moderate to strong buyer support 
continues to hold in nearby trade as soon to be spot month February futures are 
trading $1.05 per cwt higher. Other spring and summer contracts are mixed in a 
narrow range from 20 cents lower to 20 cents higher as limited overall 
direction continues to be seen through the entire market. The pullback from 
early support in the cattle complex is eroding deferred market support in the 
lean hog complex, as traders may continue to focus on overall limited market 
activity through the end of the session. Cash prices are lower on the National 
Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.27 lower at 
$46.33 per cwt with the range from $42.00 to $47.21 on 8,607 head reported 
sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog 
report. The weighted average price is $0.33 lower at $46.05 per cwt with the 
range from $42.00 to $47.00 on 5,272 head reported sold. Pork carcass values 
added $0.32 per cwt at $73.76 per cwt on 136 loads. Lean hog index for 12/11 is 
$55.54, down 0.44, with a projected two-day index is $55.36, down 0.18. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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