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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/21 11:41

   Cattle Trade Higher as Boxed Beef Prices Remain Supported, Corn is Lower 

   The cattle complex is back to rallying Tuesday as the market is seeing 
plenty of support with boxed beef prices higher again and corn posing no threat 
as it trades lower. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Heading into Tuesday afternoon, the livestock complex is mixed with the 
cattle sector receiving ample support but the lean hog contracts continuing to 
trade lower as demand remains an issue. No cash cattle trade has developed and 
it's likely trade will be delayed until Thursday or Friday again this week. 
July corn is down 4 1/4 cents per bushel and July soybean meal is down $4.20. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 19.52 points.


   With midday boxed beef prices higher and corn prices lower near noon, the 
live cattle complex has sprung back to trading fully higher as the market is 
seeing ample support. So long as beef demand remains steady or (even better yet 
for the cattle market) higher, then traders should be able to confidently 
advance the board with little trouble. It's yet to be seen what this week's 
cash cattle market will do and it's likely trade will be delayed until late in 
the week. A case can be made that packers will need to remain aggressive in the 
cash sector as they can't afford to be too short on supplies to market to 
retailers when beef prices are strong. But there's also a chance packers have 
bought aggressively enough in the last four weeks to be able to forgo having to 
robustly support this week's cash market. Honestly, time will tell, and demand 
is going to be a large deciding factor of this week's cash cattle trade. June 
live cattle are up $1.70 at $183.17, August live cattle are up $1.80 at $180.32 
and October live cattle are up $1.30 at $183.10.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $1.17 ($313.87) and select up $2.68 
($302.03) with a movement of 56 loads (35.26 loads of choice, 8.79 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 11.70 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is back to trading lower as the market has seen 
stable support in boxed beef prices and it is encouraged that Tuesday's corn 
prices are trending lower as well. It's also helpful that traders don't have to 
immediately decide if they want to take on the market's resistance at its 
100-day moving average. If traders continue to trade the complex steady to 
slightly higher, taking on the market's 100-day moving average will be a 
decision for another day. May feeders are up $1.75 at $248.45, August feeders 
are up $1.02 at $259.50 and September feeders are up $1.15 at $260.80.


   It's a dreary day for the lean hog complex as the market is mostly lower. 
Some of the furthest deferred contracts are trading mildly higher, but the 
lion's share of the market is continuing to trade lower. With midday pork 
cutout values lower, traders are speculating that afternoon pork cutout values 
could be lower too. June lean hogs are down $0.65 at $96.27, July lean hogs are 
down $0.85 at $99.10 and August lean hogs are down $0.87 at $98.32.  

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 5/20/2024 is down $0.21 at $92.01 and 
the actual index for 5/17/2024 is down $0.07 at $92.22. Hog prices on the Daily 
Direct Morning Hog Report average $88.49, ranging from $84.50 to $90.00 on 
1,248 head and a five-day rolling average of $88.90. Pork cutouts total 172.75 
loads with 151.56 loads of pork cuts and 21.19 loads of trim. Pork cutout 
values: down $0.99, $100.87.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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