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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/13 11:42

   Cattle Futures Lack Support

   It's been a tough day thus far in the cattle futures, but the lean hog 
market is back to modestly higher and is continuing to rally off strong demand 
and tight supplies. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cattle futures are having another bearish day, but the lean hog market 
is back to its upward trend. With corn prices trading higher, the feeder cattle 
contracts are on edge as rising input costs aren't what their bottom line likes 
to see. May corn is up 12 3/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down 
$5.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 151.59 points and NASDAQ is up 
81.20 points.


   Live cattle futures are continuing to scale lower in the same lackadaisical 
manner as Monday's trade. April live cattle are down $0.12 at $122.60, June 
live cattle are down $0.75 at $121.35 and August live cattle are down $0.72 at 
$121.22. There may be more cattle on this week's showlists, but that isn't an 
alarming concern given the fact that packers need cattle to keep up with 
demand. If cash cattle prices can trade higher again this week, this will be 
the fifth consecutive week in a row of higher prices. Prices may not be as 
sharply higher as last week's advancement, but somewhere around $2.00 higher 
isn't out of the equation. The countryside is still quiet without any bids 
having developed. Asking prices are starting to develop in the South at $125 
plus and the North has yet to share their asking prices for the week.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.60 ($269.81) and select up $0.74 
($266.90) with a movement of 90 loads (53.90 loads of choice, 11.75 loads of 
select, 4.45 loads of trim and 20.04 loads of ground beef).


   With corn futures making a swing at regaining what Monday lost and adding 
some to the complex, the feeder cattle contracts are having a depressed day as 
inputs are rising and the live cattle market isn't showing any support for the 
contracts to rally upon. April feeders are down $0.75 at $143.75, May feeders 
are down $0.92 at $148.77 and August feeders are down $1.37 at $159.20. The 
feeder cattle contracts are caught in the middle of absorbing what the corn 
market does all while trying to balance the developments in the cash cattle and 
live cattle markets. At this point, the market hasn't given the feeder cattle 
complex much hope in trading higher but higher cash cattle prices later in the 
week could spark some positivity.


   Lean hog futures are back to trading higher after a doggish Monday. With the 
April contract set to expire Thursday, the market is looking to June and July 
to better gauge trader interest and market direction. Like we chatted about 
earlier, with supplies tightening, the choppy price variations in the pork 
cutout value is expected and most certainly evidenced in Thursday morning's 
$5.36 increase compared to Monday's $3.83 decrease. With demand still showing 
heightened interest and supplies continuing to tighten, these types of swings 
are expected to continue.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 4/12/2021 is up $0.48 at $102.37, and 
the actual index for 4/9/2021 is up $0.52 at $101.89. Hog prices are higher on 
the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.39 with a weighted average of 
$99.96, ranging from $97.00 to $102.50 on 3,080 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $99.01. Pork cutouts total 236.03 loads with 212.10 loads of pork 
cuts and 23.93 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $5.36, 115.46.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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