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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/05 11:46

   Modest Support Develops Throughout Livestock Futures 

   It's been a pretty slow day for livestock futures but thankfully modest 
trader support is helping the contracts trade higher into the afternoon. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   As the day moves closer and closer to the noon hour, support throughout the 
livestock contracts is improving. It's too bad the cash cattle market has 
already traded the bulk of the week's business because the stronger futures 
could have encouraged higher cash cattle trade. May corn is up 7 3/4 cents per 
bushel and May soybean meal is down $1.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 
up 57.11 points and NASDAQ is down 139.04 points.


   Live cattle futures are enjoying a modestly rally into the noon hour. April 
live cattle are up $0.45 at $119.00, June live cattle are up $0.85 at $117.82 
and August live cattle are up $0.60 at $116.82. The market's fundamentals 
throughout the live cattle sector haven't improved, but traders are feeling a 
little antsy before heading into the weekend, and thankfully generously 
investing in live cattle contracts. It's a shame the cash cattle market didn't 
wait to trade until later in the week as the board's stronger futures could 
have helped feedlots sell cattle higher. It's been a dismal day throughout the 
cash cattle market as packers aren't overly interested in procuring cattle and 
know feedlots are willing to take lower prices. It's looking like the bulk of 
this week's trade is done with, though a little clean-up trade could develop 
before the week's end. Thankfully slaughter speeds remain strong, which could 
help the cash cattle market in the weeks to come as packers need to restock 
their pens.

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.75 ($233.13) and select down 
$0.95 ($220.73) with a movement of 65 loads (38.95 loads of choice, 9.75 loads 
of select, 8.56 loads of trim and 7.61 loads of ground beef).


   Traders have had a change of heart as the attitude throughout the livestock 
futures is mildly strengthening. Even with corn prices rallying $0.07 to $0.09 
in the nearby contracts, the feeder cattle contracts are trading higher as the 
market feels confident to do so with the live cattle contracts scaling higher 
as well. March feeders are up $0.10 at $135.20, April feeders are up $0.07 at 
$139.05 and May feeders are up $0.45 at $143.10. With corn prices continuing to 
creep higher and higher, the demand for heavier feeder cattle isn't much, but 
cattle that will make grass calves are met with strong demand as the warmer 
weather is reminding cattlemen that spring is coming.


   Lean hog futures are mostly higher, adding another day to the already 
impressive rally the market has secured. There's still a lot that can change 
leading up to the afternoon's close, but if pork cutout values can close higher 
accompanied by an at least steady cash market, the market's strength is 
something that will have to be dealt with early next week. April lean hogs are 
down $0.22 at $87.07, June lean hogs are up $0.52 at $95.27 and July lean hogs 
are up $0.55 at $95.85.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 3/4/2021 is up $0.51 at $84.57, and the 
actual index for 3/3/2021 is up $0.79 at $84.06. Hog prices are higher on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.89 with a weighted average of $83.58, 
ranging from $75.00 to $90.00 on 3,054 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$80.54. Pork cutouts total 193.37 loads with 161.86 loads of pork cuts and 
31.51 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.71, $95.23.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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