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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/27 12:10

   Livestock Paper Trades Mixed at Midday

   The cattle complex is mixed near the top of the noon hour with live 
contracts moderately higher and feeder issues narrowly uneven. For the most 
part, hug futures are in the red at midday with deferreds losing ground to spot 
April.

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   The cash cattle trade remains untested with just a few asking prices in the 
South identified at $132-133. Strangely, Mandatory did report more than 3,000 
head sold in Iowa on Monday at $208/$123.70). According to the midday report, 
the national hog base is 0.88 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement 
($61.00-69.00, weighted average $66.99). Corn futures are a penny plus higher 
in late-morning business.  Light commercial buying seems somewhat evident in 
largely featureless activity. Boosted by strong evidence of consumer 
confidence, the stock market is higher near midday with the Dow up 93 points 
and the Nasdaq better by 18.

   LIVE CATTLE: 

   Live futures are holding moderate gains at midday (i.e., up 10 to 57 
points), supported by short covering/profit taking following Monday's crash. 
Chart supports appear to be above 120 basis April. Tall country premiums should 
continue to cause aggressive bears to think twice. Beef cut-outs are higher at 
midday, up 0.29 (choice, $220.20) to 0.80 (select, $214.42) with very light box 
movement (29 loads of choice cuts, 9 loads of select cuts, zero loads of 
trimmings, 9 loads of coarse grinds).

   FEEDER CATTLE: 

   Feeder issues are narrowly mixed near the top of the noon hour (i.e., from 
22 points higher to 27 lower). Trade volume is very light with most focusing on 
potential developments in the live market.

   LEAN HOGS: 

   Lean contracts are moderately lower as the trade prepares to move into the 
final hour of business. Pressure is tied to spillover selling from yesterday's 
implosion and nervousness regarding the ability of wholesale demand to handle 
the high tide of early spring production and tonnage. The pork carcass value 
fell by more than a buck according to the noon report, particularly pressured 
by a lower belly primal (i.e., off $6.42). Pork cut-out: $77.94, off $1.18. CME 
cash lean index for 03/24: 70.24, off 0.67 (DTN Projected lean index for 03/27: 
NA).

   John A. Harrington can be reached at john.harrington@dtn.com 


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