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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/20 11:41

   Cattle Aim to Trade Higher But Find Mixed Support 

   Heading into Monday afternoon, traders will continue to watch any and all 
developments in the cattle markets to see if the contracts can indeed trade 
higher or if the market's outside pressure is still simply too much. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS:

   The livestock complex is again trading mixed as the cattle contracts would 
like to trade higher, but the live cattle complex is trading mixed while the 
feeder cattle complex charges onward. Meanwhile the lean hog complex continues 
to flounder lower as support is nearly impossible to come by for the market. 
May corn is down 2 1/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $0.70. The 
Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 201.38 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

   Initially the live cattle complex was trading fully higher as traders were 
finally given the opportunity to trade last week's exciting Cattle on Feed 
Report, but as the market nears the noon hour, the nearby contracts are facing 
some mild pushback. April live cattle are down $0.12 at $162.20, June live 
cattle are down $0.37 at $156.02 and August live cattle are down $0.15 at 
$156.25. The cattle complex continues to be the rope in a tug-of-war battle 
between traders' nervousness about the banking systems and the fundamental 
realities of the cattle complex. As of late, the bearishness of traders' fears 
has been winning the war, but the market's bright fundamentals still remain 
intact.

   Last week live cattle have traded for $164, and dressed cattle have traded 
for $264, both of which are $1.00 lower than last week's weighted average. Last 
week's negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 76,283 head. Of that 71% (54,038 
head) were committed for the nearby delivery, while the remaining 29% (22,245 
head) were committed for the deferred delivery.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.19 ($283.54) and select up $1.17 
($273.61) with a movement of 38 loads (28.51 loads of choice, 4.81 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 4.64 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

   As traders take the time needed to sort through Friday's Cattle on Feed 
Report, they can't help but trade the feeder cattle contracts higher. With 
placements starkly lower than a year ago, the fundamental bullishness of the 
cattle market has again been noted in Monday's market. Helping the feeder 
cattle contracts trade higher too is the fact that corn prices are taking a 
lower approach to the new week with the nearby corn contracts trading just 
below steady at $0.01 to $0.02 lower. April feeders are up $0.45 at $195.10, 
May feeders are down $0.17 at $199.77 and August feeders are down $0.02 at 
$215.27, and the rest of the deferred contracts are all trading mildly higher.

LEAN HOGS:

   Once again, the lean hog complex is under attack as traders drive the nearby 
contracts anywhere from $0.70 to $1.70 lower. The cattle complex has finally 
found some footing in the market, but without any true fundamental support 
helping the lean hog complex dig its way out of the bearish hole traders have 
dug, lower trends continue to dominate the lean hog complex. There has been 
chatter about African swine fever worsening again in China, which could bode 
well for the U.S. hog market, but the markets have yet to see any support from 
that. April lean hogs are down $1.72 at $78.15, June lean hogs are down $1.02 
at $92.30 and July lean hogs are down $0.95 at $94.67.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 3/17/2023 is down $0.46 at $79.55, and 
the actual index for 3/16/2023 is up $0.06 at $80.01. Hog prices are lower on 
the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.37 with a weighted average of 
$76.44, ranging from $76.00 to $79.00 on 4,510 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $77.25. Pork cutouts total 180.88 loads with 165.80 loads of pork 
cuts and 15.09 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.30, $82.25.

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




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