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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/17 11:36

   Traders Pull Back the Reins on the Livestock Complex

   With the entire livestock trading lower, it's unlikely that feedlots will be 
anxious to trade cattle today if any bids develop as they'll want to wait and 
see if Thursday's market lends more technical support.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is dismally trading through Wednesday's market as not 
much has developed in support of the marketplace. Still no cash cattle trade 
has developed and at this point, it's looking like trade will be delayed until 
sometime Thursday or Friday. May corn is down 1/2 cent per bushel and May 
soybean meal is up $3.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 110.74 


   The live cattle complex is trading lower as traders are looking for 
continued support to justify advancing the contracts any higher. But with no 
cash cattle trade having developed, and boxed beef prices still trading 
sluggishly, the market is stalled out for the time being. Not to mention, 
traders could be feeling some pressure from the 100-day moving average which is 
sitting just above where the market is currently trading ($177.67). June live 
cattle are down $0.92 at $174.80, August live cattle are down $0.40 at $172.52 
and October live cattle are down $0.35 at $175.45. No cash cattle trade has 
developed at this point, and it's looking like the week's trade will be delayed 
until Thursday or Friday. Asking prices are noted in the South at $184 to $185 
but have not yet been established in the North.

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.23 ($297.79) and select down 
$0.74 ($291.90) with a movement of 73 loads (38.04 loads of choice, 17.21 loads 
of select, zero loads of trim and 18.14 loads of ground beef).


   With the live cattle complex trading lower, it comes as no surprise that the 
feeder cattle contracts are trading lower too. May feeders are down $1.07 at 
$239.90, August feeders are down $0.75 at $251.60 and September feeders are 
down $0.85 at $252.77. With parts of the west getting a spring storm, cow-calf 
producers are encouraged to see the shot of moisture hitting their pastures 
ahead of their prime grass-growing season.


   The lean hog complex is trading mixed with most of the market's nearby 
contracts trading lower while some of the deferred months are trading mildly 
higher. At this point, traders need to see followed-through consumer interest 
to again give the futures board a boost of encouragement and reason why prices 
should continue with their upward trend. June lean hogs are down $0.22 at 
$102.60, July lean hogs are up $0.02 at $104.05 and August lean hogs are up 
$0.30 at $101.90. The market's support may not come until Thursday in the form 
of export sales.

   The projected lean hog index for 4/16/2024 is up $0.38 at $91.36, and the 
actual index for 4/15/2024 is up $0.25 at $90.98. Hog prices are higher on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, up $2.31 with a weighted average price of 
$88.45, ranging from $84.00 to $92.00 on 2,394 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $87.48. Pork cutouts totaled 135.41 loads with 123.05 loads of pork 
cuts and 12.35 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.16, $99.71.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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