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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/16 11:36

   Trader Support Keeps the Livestock Complex Trading Higher

   The cattle complex's biggest hindrance the last month has been a lack of 
trader support amid concerns about avian influenza -- but this week traders 
seem reinvigorated and are sending both the live cattle and feeder cattle 
markets higher.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is following in line with Monday's support nature as 
all three of the markets are trading higher into the noon hour. Asking prices 
in the South are noted at $184 but remain unestablished still in the North. May 
corn is down 1/4 cent per bushel and May soybean meal is down $1.40. The Dow 
Jones Industrial Average is up 170.62 points.


   The live cattle complex is elated to again have the support of traders as 
they're continuing to advance the market further away from last Friday's low. 
It will be interesting to see how the market handles approaching its 100-day 
moving average, as a close above that threshold would signal bullishness. June 
live cattle are up $1.55 at $175.40, August live cattle are up $1.70 at $172.82 
and October live cattle are up $1.72 at $175.72. No cash cattle trade has 
developed, but asking prices are noted in the South at $184 but remain 
unestablished still in the North. The week's cash cattle trade won't likely 
develop until Thursday or Friday of this week.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $2.59 ($298.29) and select up $1.31 
($292.65) with a movement of 66 loads (40.94 loads of choice, 9.08 loads of 
select, 4.15 loads of trim and 12.25 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle contracts are continuing to trade higher as the market is 
seeing enough support from the higher note in the live cattle contracts, mixed 
with slightly lower corn prices and continued support in the countryside. May 
feeders are up $2.85 at $240.80, August feeders are up $1.97 at $251.75 and 
September feeders are up $1.70 at $252.77. So long as the live cattle complex 
continues to trade higher, feeders shouldn't struggle to keep their upward 
trend as technical support has been the market's only lacking point.


   The lean hog complex is trading higher into Tuesday's noon hour as the 
market may have potentially found a bottom for its current move. June lean hogs 
are up $0.27 at $102.72, July lean hogs are up $0.07 at $103.82 and August lean 
hogs are up $0.40 at $101.97. Helping the market was Monday afternoon's higher 
close in cutout values, and even though midday pork cutout values are lower, 
the market still could potentially see afternoon pork cutout values close 
higher -- which would lend traders continued confidence.

   The projected lean hog index is again delayed from the source. Hog prices on 
the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report average $86.14, ranging from $85.00 to 
$89.50 on 942 head and a five-day rolling average of $87.52. Pork cutouts total 
130.46 loads with 121.84 loads of pork cuts and 8.62 loads of trim. Pork cutout 
values: down $4.44, $99.16.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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