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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/14 12:09

   Live Cattle Futures Hold Triple-Digit Gains

   Strong buyer support has moved into the livestock market Thursday. This is 
helping to draw additional underlying support back to most contracts. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   Buyer support quickly moved into the livestock market with strong price 
gains seen at midday in both cattle and hog futures. This is likely to spark 
some additional underlying activity and may push prices even higher at closing 
bell. Corn prices are higher in light trade. March corn futures are 1/2 cent 
per bushel higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 15 
points lower while Nasdaq is up 6 points.

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Strong triple-digit gains have developed in nearby live cattle futures 
following the support seen in all livestock markets. This may not be able to 
hold current price levels through the end of the session, but traders are 
focusing on increased buyer support through the next couple of days. This may 
help to bring some needed stability back to the market. Cash cattle activity 
remains generally quiet Thursday morning with just a few bids developing in the 
North. Bids are seen at $116 live and $186 dressed. Asking prices are still 
hard to pin down, but starting to firm around $119 live and $190 and higher 
dressed. It is likely that active trade may not develop until Friday. Beef 
cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.49 lower (select) and up $0.63 per cwt 
(choice) with active movement of 89 total loads reported (42 loads of choice 
cuts, 31 loads of select cuts, 5 loads of trimmings, 11 loads of ground beef). 

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Firm gains have developed in feeder cattle futures as the early support has 
held through all markets Thursday morning. Gains have been seen at 80 to 90 
cents per cwt in most contracts. However, nearby contracts are limiting buyer 
activity and narrowing the price support. Strong triple-digit gains in the live 
cattle market may help to draw additional support to the market, although light 
trade volume could subdue late-day price moves. 

   LEAN HOGS:

   Strong gains have redeveloped across the lean hog futures trade Thursday 
morning as renewed cash market support helped to draw increased trade activity 
to the complex. There may be some additional buyer activity moving to the 
market late in the day with prices likely to hold triple-digit gains in nearby 
contract months. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog 
report. The weighted average price is up $1.02 at $58.01 per cwt with the range 
from $51.00 to $58.52 on 2,962 head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported 
due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. 
The National Pork Plant Report posted 215 loads selling with carcass values 
adding $0.87 per cwt. Lean hog index for 12/11 is at $64.97 down $0.20 with a 
projected two-day index of $64.86, down $0.11.

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


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