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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/08 11:57

   Support Finds the Livestock Contracts 

   Even though there's a lot at stake this week, the futures market is 
favorable to all the livestock contracts early in the week. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   As the week gets underway, the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts are 
enjoying the market's support while the lean hog market is still trying to find 
stable footing around the market's indecisiveness. As the futures market takes 
an overall supported leap into Monday's trade, the countryside remains intense, 
itching to see if feedlots can break the cash cattle market's stagnant trade. 
May corn is up 1/4 cent per bushel and May soybean meal is up $1.00. The Dow 
Jones Industrial Average is up 503.78 points and NASDAQ is down 101.71 points.


   A spark of interest has found the live cattle contracts and is leading the 
complex mildly higher into Monday's afternoon trade. After a rather 
disappointing week with cash cattle selling for steady to weaker prices, 
feedlots desperately hope that this week is more fruitful than last. April live 
cattle are up $0.40 at $119.42, June live cattle are up $0.87 at $118.92 and 
August live cattle are up $0.70 at $117.77. Feedlots are sick of steady to 
weaker trade and hope that with spring nearing that they will be able to 
finally regain some leverage in this week's cash cattle market. It's too early 
in the week for trade to develop but feedlots are expected to price their pens 
higher again this week. New showlists appear to be mixed, somewhat larger in 
Kansas, larger in Texas, but lower in Nebraska/Colorado.

   Last week's negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 79,593 head. Of which 69% 
(54,894 head) are committed for delivery in the next two weeks, while the 
remaining 31% (24,699 head) are committed for the following 15 to 30 days.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $0.20 ($231.13) and select down 
$2.48 ($233.33) with a movement of 38 loads (16.86 loads of choice, 4.48 loads 
of select, 9.33 loads of trim and 6.84 loads of ground beef).


   As the corn market trades mildly lower, the nearby feeder cattle contracts 
are relishing in Monday's opportunity to trade higher. With the support of the 
live cattle market's higher trade, the feeder cattle contracts feel confident 
in trading higher, which the market hasn't been able to successfully do in 
quite some time. March feeders are up $0.57 at $135.17, April feeders are up 
$0.90 at $139.92 and May feeders are up $0.30 at $145.45. If the weather 
continues to hold and resemble spring-like temperatures, calf buyers could 
continue support the market as many are hopeful to get grass calves bought.


   Welcome to another week where we wonder, what in the world is the hog market 
going to do! With pork demand as unbelievably strong as it is, the pressure 
from the technical side of the market may not be enough to send the market 
completely lower if consumers are going to keep packers on their toes. The 
morning's pork cutout values are enough to make you think that your coffee is 
skewing your vision and how in the world could a Monday get better? But before 
you put the cart before the horse, let's see how the day closes. There's a lot 
that can happen from the morning pork cutout value to the afternoon's close and 
the market puts far more assurance in the afternoon's value. April lean hogs 
are down $0.20 at $86.97, June lean hogs are up $0.45 at $95.87 and July lean 
hogs are up $0.37 at $96.30.

   The projected 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 lower on the 
National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $2.38 with a weighted average of 
$81.20, ranging from $80.00 to $85.50 on 3,965 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $81.18. Pork cutouts total 85.66 loads with 78.81 loads of pork cuts 
and 6.85 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $7.98, $103.12.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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