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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/22 12:06

   Limited Selling Continues Midweek

   Light pressure remains Wednesday morning following initial follow-through 
pressure through the complex. Traders continue to focus on growing cattle 
supplies and uncertainty in pork demand. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Initial market pressure has continued to develop on Wednesday morning, but 
limited new market information continues to limit overall activity as well as 
price movement. Light pressure is likely to hold through the rest of the 
Wednesday session. Corn futures are higher in moderate trade. July corn futures 
are 1 cent higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 96 
points lower with the Nasdaq down 33 points. 

   LIVE CATTLE:

   There are narrow losses in live cattle trade despite follow-through pressure 
in most feeder cattle trade, and concerns that growing cattle placements will 
continue to add bearishness to the entire complex. June futures are holding a 
5-cent loss midday Wednesday with traders trying to hold support above $110.50 
per cwt midweek. Cash cattle trade is starting to develop in the South with 
limited volume in Kansas and Texas at $115 per cwt. This is $1 per cwt lower 
than last week's prices, and may set the tone for the week. Bids are seen in 
the North at $115 live and $185 dressed, but so far, trade is undeveloped. 
Asking prices are at $117 and higher live and $187 and higher dressed. Boxed 
Beef cutouts at midday are steady to higher, steady (select) and up $1.01 per 
cwt (choice) with light movement of 83 total loads reported (38 loads of choice 
cuts, 20 loads of select cuts, four loads of trimmings, 20 loads of ground 
beef).

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Following additional strong market pressure early Wednesday morning, feeder 
cattle futures are mixed to mostly lower at midday. Lightly traded May 
contracts are holding a 60-cent gain, with traders trying to narrow the price 
discount in May futures compared to the rest of the complex. Pressure in the 
rest of the complex is lowering prices 55 cents to 70 cents per cwt as traders 
try to establish support levels following the latest market tumble. Concerns 
surrounding increased cattle placed in feedyards through the spring is likely 
to add even more pressure to the entire complex through the end of the week.

   LEAN HOGS: 

   Lean hog trade is under moderate-to-light pressure on Wednesday after mixed 
trade kept prices shifting higher and lower early in the day. June futures are 
leading the complex lower with the rest of the complex steady to 20 cents 
lower. Lack of market direction midweek is keeping traders caught between trade 
uncertainty and expected growth in global demand. Narrow trading ranges are 
likely through the rest of the complex with traders looking for additional news 
throughout the complex. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning 
cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $1.49 at $79.34 per cwt 
with the range from $72.00 to $81.00 on 4,010 head reported sold. Cash prices 
are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash 
hog report. Pork values slipped in light trade as primal cuts remain mixed in a 
narrow range. Pork cutouts fell $0.64 per cwt at $86.43 per cwt with 148 loads 
traded. Lean hog index for 5/20 is $84.37, down $0.22, with a projected two-day 
index at $84.39, up $0.02.

   Rick Kment can be reached at rick.kment@dtn.com 


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