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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/23 12:18

   Building Pressure Continues in Livestock Trade

   Sharp losses have quickly developed through all livestock markets. This is 
leaving increased pressure in nearby contracts and may add even more weakness 
to the complex early next week. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Live cattle and lean hog futures continue to hold aggressive market losses. 
Not all of the concerns are based on potential global market indicators, but 
there continues to be wide speculation as to just how much impact will be seen 
in the coming days and weeks. Corn prices are lower in light trade. May corn 
futures are 1/2 cent lower Friday. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The 
Dow Jones is 3 points lower while Nasdaq is down 40 points.


   Moderate to strong pressure is seen in live cattle futures. Nearby trade is 
holding losses near $2 per cwt while much less pressure is seen in the live 
cattle complex. There is very little additional direction likely to be seen in 
the market as current traders will likely hold positions through the end of the 
day. Cash cattle trade and activity levels are quiet Friday morning with 
packers and feeders likely calling it a week following the trade over the last 
few days. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.29 lower (select) and 
down $1.09 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 67 total loads reported (35 
loads of choice cuts, 8 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 3 loads of 
ground beef). 


   Strong early losses seen across the entire cattle market have continued to 
weaken feeder cattle futures at midday. This is posting losses of $1 to $2 per 
cwt through the complex with increased pressure developing through the market. 
Sluggish trade will likely be seen through the end of the day, although early 
pressure is expected to hang on until closing bell.


   Sharp losses have continued to develop through lean hog trade with most 
aggressive pressure seen in front month contracts. This has pushed April 
futures $1.82 per cwt lower with increased weakness likely to be seen through 
the rest of the trading session. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.03 at $53.96 per 
cwt with the range from $49.00 to $54.03 on 2,801 head reported sold. Cash 
prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 185 loads 
selling with carcass values adding $0.25 per cwt. Lean hog index for 3/20 is at 
$63.63, down 0.66 with a projected two-day index of $63.03, down 0.60

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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