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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/22 12:02

   Mixed Trade Seen As Trade Limps Into the Holiday                   

   Trade volume remains light Friday morning with markets having a hard time 
finding a sense of direction before the long holiday weekend. A bullish cattle 
on feed report is not gaining the attention that would be expected due to the 
light activity.   

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Livestock futures are mixed in light trade as most of the volume has quickly 
evaporated as traders seem to be checked out for holiday vacations already. The 
lower than expected feeder placements in April has drawn moderate support in 
feeder cattle futures, but the light trade is limiting the impact Friday. Corn 
prices are lower in light trade. July corn futures are 3 cents per bushel 
lower. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 13 points lower 
while Nasdaq is up 3 points.


   Mixed trade continues to be seen through the live cattle futures market 
following the cattle on feed report which still is unable to draw much 
attention to the market midday Friday. Traders are in holiday mode, and seem 
willing to let things stand where they are without rocking the boat until next 
week when more activity is seen in the complex. It is still unlikely that 
traders will be able to break out of the wide trading range set in the complex. 
Cash cattle trade continues to trickle into the market Friday morning with some 
additional sales reported in Nebraska at $253 per cwt. This is steady to the 
high end of sales seen earlier in the week as packers continue to clean up 
before the long holiday weekend. Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $1.32 lower 
(select) and down $1.42 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 83 total loads 
reported (37 loads of choice cuts, 17 loads of select cuts, eight loads of 
trimmings, 22 loads of ground beef).


   Light gains have developed in the feeder cattle futures Friday morning, but 
not the support that would have been expected since the April cattle on feed 
report was far off the average pre-report estimates and also below the range 
seen through the market. The expectation that cattle placements were lower 
could help to draw light support into the market through the rest of the 
session, but the light volume is keeping trade sluggish. 


   Trade activity seems to be coasting into the holiday weekend with very 
little activity developing in the complex despite strong losses in the morning 
pork cutout reports. The focus on traders looking for additional hog numbers 
through the end of May and early June is not even bringing additional volume 
into the market as traders have checked out for the day and more concerned 
about finalizing holiday plants. Prices are mixed in an extremely narrow range 
at midday. This lack of direction is likely to trickle into closing bell. Cash 
prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price fell $1.73 per cwt to $76.46 per cwt with the range from $69.00 
to $79.50 per cwt on 3,538 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the 
Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell 
$1.84 per cwt to $77.56 per cwt with the range from $69.00 to $79.00 per cwt on 
271 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 148 loads 
selling with prices falling $2.05 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/20 is at $83.20 
up 0.15, with a projected two-day index of $83.12 down 0.08.  

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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