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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          08/17 12:12

   Hogs Maintain Firm Gains

   Despite limited trade seen in all livestock markets Friday, moderate to firm 
gains have held across lean hog trade with the focus on extending previous 
support is carried into the weekend.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Firm follow-through gains are seen through lean hog futures following the 
aggressive limit gains that developed Thursday. The tone of the market remains 
bullish as traders extend gains off of recent long-term lows. Cattle markets 
remain mixed in a narrow to moderate trading range with little new market 
direction developing Friday. Corn markets are lower in light trade activity. 
September corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are mixed in active 
trade. The Dow Jones is 53 points higher while Nasdaq is down 24 points.


   Moderate market moved are seen in live cattle trade with nearby contracts 
trading steady to 50 cents higher, while deferred contracts are trading steady 
to 20 cents per cwt lower. The overall lack of support in deferred markets has 
limited the overall support through the entire complex late in the week. 
Traders are also focusing on the lack of cash market support in the market, 
which could leave prices unable to shift higher in the near future. Cash cattle 
trade is starting to develop in the North with dressed trade of $173 per cwt 
seen through the morning. This is generally $2.50 per cwt lower than last week. 
With early sales little changed from bids seen earlier in the week, it 
indicates that the market tone has weakened, leaving other markets uncertain 
through the rest of the day. Bids remain at $108 live basis, as more interest 
is expected through the rest of the day. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are 
higher, $0.23 higher (select) and up $2.20 per cwt (choice) with light movement 
of 58 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 8 
loads of trimmings, 13 loads of ground beef).


   Light trade has developed in cattle futures Friday morning with feeder 
cattle trade focusing on limited volume, but helping to sustain the underlying 
buyer support that has developed through the week. Prices are mixed from 27 
cents per cwt lower to 25 cents per cwt higher. This may add some additional 
underlying activity to the complex early next week, but traders seem to be 
content with allowing prices to coast into the weekend, given the narrowly 
mixed trading range Friday morning.


   Firm gains have continued to develop across the lean hog complex. This is 
adding overall support to the entire complex although there is some 
disappointment suspected through the market that prices are not able to 
continue on the aggressive path higher following limit gains Thursday. But the 
limited volume seen Friday is also keeping most traders unwilling to quickly 
step back into the market before the weekend break. Cash prices are lower on 
the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down 
$0.86 at $40.52 per cwt with the range from $39.00 to $42.00 on 3,784 head 
reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash 
hog report. The weighted average price is down $1.86 at $39.69 per cwt with the 
range from $39.00 to $41.50 on 566 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant 
Report posted a total of 135 loads selling with cutout values gaining $0.28 per 
cwt at $68.77 per cwt in the morning report. Lean hog index for 8/15 is at 
$54.21 down 1.02 with a projected two-day index of $52.94, down 1.27.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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