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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/17 11:32

   Cattle Hope Cattle on Feed Report Sparks Cattle Market

   All three of the livestock markets are trading lower into Friday's 
afternoon, but cattlemen hope that the day's Cattle on Feed report could help 
propel the cattle market higher on Monday.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is again trading lower as traders continue to yearn 
for something positive. Cattlemen are hopeful that Friday afternoon's Cattle on 
Feed report could be the light at the end of the tunnel that the cattle market 
desperately needs in order to send the contracts higher again. May corn is up 2 
cents per bushel and May soybean meal is down $9.10. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average is down 396.50 points and NASDAQ is down 114.79 points.


   The live cattle complex is again trading lower as the market seems to be 
patiently waiting for Friday afternoon's Cattle on Feed report to be released. 
Besides waiting for the COF report to be shared, the market remains incredibly 
quiet. It's looking like the bulk of this week's cash cattle trade is mostly 
done with, as feedlots know that getting packers to give them an extra $1.00 or 
$2.00 is going to be nearly impossible given that they've gotten cattle bought 
earlier in the week for cheaper money. Some light clean-up trade could still 
develop, but largely the bulk of this week's business is done with. Throughout 
the week, live cattle have traded for $164 and dressed cattle have traded for 
mostly $264, both of which are $1.00 lower than last week's weighted averages. 
April live cattle are down $0.10 at $162.25, June live cattle are down $0.47 at 
$156.40 and August live cattle are down $0.12 at $156.45.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.43 ($284.38) and select up $1.41 
($273.17) with a movement of 40 loads (22.92 loads of choice, 5.83 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 10.86 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is back to trading lower as the market anxiously 
awaits to see what Friday afternoon's Cattle on Feed report unveils. Most 
likely hope the afternoon's report will be the bullish jumpstart that the 
cattle market needs in order for traders to again push the contracts higher. 
Placements will again be the wildcard on Friday's report, with the big question 
being: how much lower compared to a year ago were placements? The lower the 
placements are the more bullish the report will be. March feeders are down 
$0.90 at $188.60, April feeders are down $0.87 at $194.27 and May feeders are 
down $0.62 at $199.65.


   The lean hog complex is continuing to trade lower, but the complex isn't 
doing so as hastily as it did on Thursday. April lean hogs are up $0.10 at 
$79.55, June lean hogs are down $2.67 at $90.85 and July lean hogs are down 
$2.85 at $93.42. At this point, traders are just simply looking forward to 
Friday's trading hours coming to an end so that the week of immense hardship 
can subside and hopefully next week the complex finds better support.

   Hog prices are lower on the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.65 with 
a weighted average of $77.81, ranging from $72.00 to $79.00 on 4,231 head and 
five-day rolling average of $76.97. Pork cutouts total 124.64 loads with 111.43 
loads of pork cuts and 13.20 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.31, 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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