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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/17 11:38

   Cattle Futures Extend Weekly Gains

   Strong buyer support has quickly moved through live cattle trade with triple 
digit gains in both live cattle and feeder cattle holding markets higher. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Strong underlying support has redeveloped through the live cattle and feeder 
cattle complex with end-of-week support moving into the complex. Limited volume 
is seen, which will create uncertainty about the ability to sustain follow 
through gains early next week. Hog futures are hovering in a narrowly mixed 
trade range through the morning, as traders cover positions late Friday. Corn 
futures are higher in active trade. July corn futures are 3 1/2 cents higher. 
Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 12 points lower with 
Nasdaq down 30 points. 


   Live cattle futures have bounced off early pressure as prices are mixed 
within a narrow range. Traders are moving away from strong pressure in feeder 
cattle with the focus moving more toward moderate to strong upcoming demand. 
The fact that hog futures have bounced back from sharp losses early in the 
session has helped bring spillover buying back to the live cattle trade. Even 
though prices are not expected to show significant support over the near 
future, the ability to remain steady to higher will be a significant moral 
victory to the complex. Cash cattle trade appears to be finished through the 
South, although some additional live and dressed trade may develop in the 
North. It is likely that price levels have already been set by the amount of 
trade seen over the last two days. Dressed trade developed at $184 to $186, 
mostly $185 per cwt, $7 per cwt lower than last week. Live trade was seen 
mostly $117, $3 per cwt lower than last week. A few dressed bids are seen in 
Nebraska at $186 per cwt, which may spark limited end of the week trade. Boxed 
Beef cut-outs at midday are unreported due to delayed reporting.


   Strong follow-through buyer support is quickly and aggressively moving into 
the oversold cattle complex as traders continue to move prices off of long-term 
contract lows. Even though corn prices have continued to move higher, traders 
are focusing on current feeder cattle market support levels as $142.25 per cwt 
in August contacts as potential long-term support levels due to still strong 
demand expectations. Triple-digit gains are seen in all but lightly traded May 
contracts, allowing for increased overall buyer momentum to develop through the 
entire complex.


   Lack of trade volume in the complex has continued to spark additional market 
softness Friday morning with traders slowly covering gains earlier in the week. 
Mixed trade within a narrow range that was seen through most of the morning has 
now shifted lower with prices steady to 60 cents lower. Most contracts are 
holding losses of 20 to 30 cents per cwt. The recent gains have sparked 
moderate to solid buyer support through the entire complex, allowing for 
expectations of follow-through support in the coming days. Even though the 
trade war with China continues to heighten, the focus on supplying pork to 
global markets will continue to underpin world and domestic price levels. Cash 
prices are unavailable due to report delays. Pork values inched higher as rib 
cuts slowly regained a portion of Thursday's losses. Pork cutouts added $0.14 
per cwt at $86.27 per cwt with 108 loads traded. Lean hog index for 5/15 is 
$84.20 up 0.53, with a projected two-day index is unreported due to report 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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