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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/18 12:24

   Cattle Trade Post Gains

   Strong market support is redeveloping in cattle futures even though the 
complex remains lightly traded. Hog futures are still under pressure with 
front-month February contracts leading the market lower. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Strong gains in cattle futures are offsetting the pressure in lean hog trade 
Tuesday morning. Little long-term direction is seen through the complex as 
traders look for increased market direction later in the week. Corn markets are 
higher in light trade. March corn futures are 1 1/4 cent higher. Stock markets 
are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 284 points higher with Nasdaq up 84 


   Strong underlying support is seen through nearby live cattle trade. This is 
posting triple-digit gains in all nearby contracts. With December markets 
holding a $1 per cwt. This has helped to bring additional support through the 
complex. Cash cattle markets remain quiet with bids and offers still 
undeveloped. Active trade is not expected to be seen until the end of the week. 
Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.40 higher (select) and up $1.06 
per cwt (choice) with light movement of 48 total loads reported (24 loads of 
choice cuts, 8 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground 


   Sharp gains have quickly developed in feeder cattle trade. The sharp losses 
seen Monday have quickly allowed short covering to develop early in the 
session. This has led to additional market interest, which quickly turned, into 
triple-digit gains. Traders are looking for increased market stability with 
January futures holding a $1.20 per gain, trading at $146.57 at midday. 


   Strong losses have continued to develop through all nearby contracts with 
February futures holding $1.25 per cwt loss. There continues to be some 
additional underlying pressure in all contracts. Cash prices are higher on the 
National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.54 
higher at $46.76 per cwt with the range from $41.00 to $47.16 on 4,022 head 
reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the 
Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. Pork carcass values added $2.35 
per cwt at $74.31 per cwt on 174 loads. Lean hog index for 12/14 is $55.13, 
down 0.04, with a projected two-day index is $55.07, down 0.06. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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