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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/11 11:54

   Livestock Futures Show Wide Price Shifts  

   Active price movement has quickly developed through the entire complex 
Tuesday. Sharp triple-digit gains flooded into feeder cattle markets, helping 
to support the entire cattle complex. Weakness has developed across lean hog 
trade and fundamental concerns. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Livestock futures have held mixed market shifts seen early in the day with 
moderate to strong losses in hog trade focusing on renewed pressure in cash 
values and concern that follow-through fundamental pressure may continue. 
Feeder cattle futures have held sharp gains with January futures $2.40 per cwt 
higher in active buyer interest. Live cattle markets are supported, although 
traders remain cautious about follow-through support developing at this point. 
Corn markets are higher in light trade. March corn futures are 1/4 cent higher. 
Stock markets are lower in active trade. Dow Jones is 97 points lower with 
Nasdaq up 26 points. 

   LIVE CATTLE:

   The strong underlying support in feeder cattle trade Tuesday morning has 
steadily brought some additional support back into the live cattle complex. 
This has moved prices from narrow single-digit price shifts seen early in the 
session to uniform support of 50 to 65 cent gains as traders are slowly moving 
back into the complex. The potential for firm beef demand through the end of 
the year and over the next couple of weeks is helping to focus trader's 
interest on fundamental moves. The sideways back and forth chart moves within 
the wide trading range seen through the last few months is limiting any sense 
of technical direction. Cash cattle interest remains undeveloped with prices 
showing little to no direction this early in the week. Active bids are expected 
to be pushed off until midweek or later, although there are starting to be a 
few live asking prices seen around $122 per cwt. This is well above where 
initial bids will likely develop, but could help to set the tone for market 
activity toward the end of the week. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, 
$0.94 higher (select) and down $0.92 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 64 
total loads reported (49 loads of choice cuts, 10 loads of select cuts, no 
loads of trimmings, 5 loads of ground beef).

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Buyers flooded into feeder cattle futures through the morning with active 
support seen in all markets. This has pushed triple-digit buyer support into 
all nearby contracts with front-month January futures securely holding a $2.25 
per cwt rally. The lack of support in the grain market during the morning and 
limited movement after the USDA supply and demand report has allowed for the 
aggressive buyer support to continue to develop through the complex. With only 
moderate gains seen in live cattle trade, there is expected to be some 
additional underlying support in all cattle trade through the rest of the day. 

   LEAN HOGS:

   Firm losses have continued to hold in lean hog trade as traders continue to 
remain concerned about overall demand for pork. Current production levels 
through early 2019 continue to put even more pressure on nearby trade. February 
futures are leading the complex lower with a $1.62 per cwt loss. This latest 
round of market pressure has been focusing on February and April contracts as 
the expectation that any global trade changes will have a stronger impact on 
summer and fall contracts later in the year. Cash prices are lower on the 
National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.50 
lower at $46.66 per cwt with the range from $42.00 to $47.89 on 6,348 head 
reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash 
hog report. The weighted average price is $0.31 lower at $45.93 per cwt with 
the range from $44.00 to $46.50 on 2,781 head reported sold. Pork carcass 
values added $1.17 per cwt at $73.82 per cwt on 277 loads. Lean hog index for 
12/07 is $56.12, up 0.16, with a projected two-day index is $55.98, down 0.14. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at rick.kment@dtn.com 


(CZ)

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