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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/26 11:48

   Triple-Digit Losses Sweep Through Hog Futures 

   Nearby lean hog futures are holding moderate to strong losses with 
triple-digit pressure seen in May through July contract months. Cattle trade is 
mostly lower with traders focusing on very little additional buyer support 
willing to step into the market.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Widespread pressure has developed across cattle and hog futures midday 
Thursday. The early support seen in cattle trade has quickly evaporated due to 
limited follow through buyer interest and traders showing concern about 
additional short-term gains. Hog futures have posted triple-digit losses, with 
weakness seen despite firming pork values. Corn prices are lower in light 
trade. May corn futures are 1/4 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light 
trade. The Dow Jones is 220 points higher while Nasdaq is up 104 points.


   Trade in live cattle futures at midday is mixed to mostly lower with June 
futures leading the complex lower with a $1 per cwt loss. There remains some 
uncertainty in the market as traders have quickly adjusted to the recent market 
support in all contracts. Trade volume has remained slow through the morning 
with traders unwilling to aggressively focus on long term market direction due 
to some position taking likely being the main order of business for most 
traders. There is expected to be some additional longer term shifts that may 
move into the market, although end of month adjustments may quickly add to 
market volatility. Cash bids are starting to improve through the morning with 
bids seen in nearly all areas of cattle country with the expectation that 
additional interest will develop late in the day. It is uncertain at this point 
if feeders will be willing to settle at this point with the possibility of 
follow through support developing late in the week. Live bids are seen at $121 
per cwt, while dressed bids are seen at $190 to $192 per cwt. Asking prices are 
now seen at $125 live basis, and $200 to $203 per cwt dressed. Boxed Beef 
cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.76 higher (select) and up $1.22 per cwt 
(choice) with active movement of 85 total loads reported (42 loads of choice 
cuts, 27 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 17 loads of ground beef). 


   Lightly traded April contracts continue to hold moderate gains which 
developed in early trade Thursday morning. But the rest of the complex remains 
under moderate pressure with traders looking for increased softness through the 
end of the week, and likely the rest of April. May contracts are now leading 
the market lower with an 80 cent per cwt loss. May futures have quickly eroded 
the premium that had been evident over the last couple of weeks as traders 
focus on May as the spot-month contract. 


   Triple-digit losses have moved into lean hog trade with May through July 
futures posting losses of $1.20 to $1.45 per cwt. The overall lack of support 
returning to the market following midweek market gains has opened the door on 
additional liquidation through the complex. Trade volume remains sluggish, as 
traders continue to focus on firming pork values, although there is growing 
concern that the strong supplies seen through the spring and summer may make it 
much more difficult to maintain current supply levels. But upcoming seasonal 
summer demand should help to draw buyer activity back into the market over the 
near future. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog 
report. The weighted average price is up $0.02 at $58.32 per cwt with the range 
from $53.00 to $58.50 on 2,850 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the 
Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is 
down $0.40 at $58.09 per cwt with the range from $53.00 to $58.50 on 550 head 
reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 124 loads selling with 
carcass values adding $0.61 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/24 is at $60.44 up 
1.44 with a projected two-day index of $61.23, up 0.79.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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