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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/29 12:04

   Live Cattle Firm Near Midday Thanks to Late-Week Short Covering

   The cattle complex is mixed moving toward the noon hour with prices higher 
in the live market and modestly lower in the feeder trade.  On the other hand, 
lean futures are mostly higher with summer issues outperforming the far 

By John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cash cattle trade is generally quiet at midday with just a few clear-up 
deals reported in parts of the North (e.g., a little $193 in Eastern Nebraska, 
a little $124 in Texas).  For the most part, feedlot biz seems to be done for 
the week. According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.81 higher 
compared with the Prior Day settlement ($66.84-71.00, weighted average $69.23). 
Corn futures opened higher but have turned fractionally mixed at midday thanks 
to profit taking and late week positioning. Wall Street is struggling with the 
Dow off as much as 107 points and the Nasdaq off 38.


   Live futures are 37 to 165 points higher in late week short covering and 
profit taking.  The last two sessions have been a tough ride for bulls, such 
that today's firmer tone probably doesn't say much per se.  Spot April is 190 
points higher just before expiration at high noon.  It's possible that delivery 
interest could surface late since the contract permits early May settlement. 
Beef cut-outs are mixed at midday, up .08 (select, $203.17) to off .45 (choice, 
$212.05) with light box movement (35 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select 
cuts, 13 loads of trimmings, 16 loads of coarse grinds).


   The action here as been rather choppy in light trade volume.  Most of the 
morning's session saw lower price action here, but late week short covering has 
now lifted most issues back into the black.  Whatever, the close is not likely 
to alter the technical picture drawn over the last few day s (i.e., negative). 


   Lean hog issues are moderately higher for the most part with jjust a few 
2017 contracts in the shallow red. If the summer months can close the week 
firmly above 81, they stand to make new technical friends when trading resumes 
on Monday. Carcass value is modestly lower at midday with appreciation in fresh 
cuts and bellies offset by rib and ham weakness. Pork cut-out: $81.61, off 
0.20. CME cash lean 69.81, up 0.75 (DTN Projected lean index for 04/28: 70.47, 
up 0.66). 

   John A. Harrington can be reached at 


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