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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/12 11:46

   Livestock Contracts Meet Monday With Indecisiveness

   It's been a wishy-washy Monday as traders want to see strong fundamental 
support before they move contracts any higher. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   It's been a back-and-forth day already for livestock futures as traders are 
waiting to see how the fundamentals pan out before rallying the contracts any 
higher. The markets still stand a strong chance at trading higher, especially 
if feedlots wait until later in the week to market their cattle. This week's 
cash cattle market is expected to be higher again. May corn is down 6 cents per 
bushel and May soybean meal is down $0.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 
down 38.10 points and NASDAQ is down 43.18 points.


   Live cattle futures are battling the same indecisive pressure the rest of 
the livestock contracts are. If the market can get its bumps worked out early 
this week there's a strong likelihood we will be able to trade higher later in 
the week when cash cattle trade gets more aggressive and if boxed beef prices 
keep trading higher, which is highly anticipated. April live cattle are down 
$0.25 at $123.17, June live cattle are down $0.10 at $122.50 and August live 
cattle are down $0.17 at $122.22. Looking at the week ahead, the market stands 
a phenomenal chance of seeing robust cash cattle trade again this week. New 
showlists appear to be mixed, somewhat higher in Kansas, higher in Texas, but 
somewhat lower in Nebraska. As evidenced again last week, the market offered 
the strongest cash cattle prices late in the week, so one may consider pushing 
past Wednesday's trade and waiting for Thursday or Friday before getting 
serious about selling pens of cattle as supplies favor feedlot positions.

   Last week's negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 108,513 head. Of that 70% 
(75,474 head) were committed for delivery in the next two upcoming weeks, while 
the remaining 30% (33,039 head) are scheduled for delivery in the following 15 
to 30 days.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.34 ($270.83) and select up $1.20 
($265.27) with a movement of 53 loads (31.79 loads of choice, 4.15 loads of 
select, 14.39 loads of trim and 2.38 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle futures traded all across the board Monday morning as the 
complex fights itself and the signals its being given from the other markets as 
to where it should trade. The corn market is giving the feeder cattle contracts 
a break as the corn contracts trade slightly lower. But without like-minded, 
rallying support from the live cattle contracts the feeder cattle contracts 
feel uneasy about the day. April feeders are down $0.32 at $144.42, May feeders 
are up $0.27 at $149.90 and August feeders are up $0.45 at $160.40.


   Lean hog futures have traded much like both the live and feeder cattle 
contracts -- for a little while the complex will feel confident and trade 
higher; but then in a matter of minutes the contracts are back to trading lower 
as traders are uncertain. June lean hogs are down $1.57 at $107.37, July lean 
hogs are down $1.27 at $105.52 and August lean hogs are down $0.77 at $101.65. 
Looking at the market's fundamental support, I'm glad to see packers supporting 
the morning cash hog market, but it will be important to watch and see how many 
hogs trade by this afternoon's close as 2,953 head is a slim movement.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 4/9/2021 is up $0.52 at $101.89 and the 
actual index for 4/8/2021 is up $0.43 at $101.37. Hog prices are higher on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.92 with a weighted average of $99.57, 
ranging from $98.62 to $102.50 on 2,953 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$98.67. Pork cutouts total 123.76 loads with 111.89 loads of pork cuts and 
11.87 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $3.83, $109.34.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached shayle.stewart@dtn.com

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