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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/22 11:57

   Mixed Prices Keep Volume Light

   Light activity is seen in all markets with traders focusing on potential 
renewed activity early next week. Prices are mixed with very limited direction 
seen Friday morning.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Narrowly mixed trade is seen Friday with most traders taking a step back and 
observing following a wild market shift through the holiday-shortened week. 
Live cattle and hog futures are mixed in a narrow range as traders continue to 
focus on very limited market direction over the weekend. Corn futures are 
higher in sluggish trade. March corn futures are 3/4 cent higher. Stock markets 
are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 170 points higher with Nasdaq up 54 


   With the exception of February live cattle, which are in delivery and soon 
to expire, limited activity is seen through the entire live cattle complex. 
Prices are mixed in a narrow range after the early week volatility is allowing 
for some end of the week positioning by those traders who have stuck around. 
This could leave markets quiet through the end of the complex, although traders 
will be watching the cold storage report and cattle on feed reports for 
direction of markets next week. Cash markets are still untraded midday Friday 
but dressed bids are starting to improve. Live bids are holding at $123 per 
cwt, while dressed bids have moved to $203 in Nebraska per cwt. Asking prices 
are at $128 and higher live and $205 to $207 dressed. Trade may not be seen 
until around the time or after cattle on feed report is released. Boxed Beef 
cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.78 higher (select) and up $1.32 per cwt 
(choice) with light movement of 45 total loads reported (21 loads of choice 
cuts, 5 loads of select cuts, 7 loads of trimmings, 11 loads of ground beef).


   Narrow trading ranges are indicating a quiet trading session in feeder 
cattle markets with very limited direction seen in both grain and cattle 
markets through the end of the week. Most contracts are holding single-digit 
market shifts with traders trying to assess longer term direction and the 
potential for future moves in beef values. 


   Sluggish trade is seen through the entire hog complex Friday morning with 
mixed prices leaving markets generally quiet. April futures are holding a 35 
cent loss, moving to $56.60 per cwt, while all other contracts are stuck in a 
mixed range from 20 cents lower to 35 cents higher. Limited trade is expected 
to be seen over the rest of the trading session with uncertain market direction 
moving back into the complex next week. Cash prices are higher on the National 
Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.90 at 
$47.24 per cwt with the range from $44.00 to $47.85 on 5,906 head reported 
sold. Cash prices higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. 
The weighted average price added $0.46 at $46.48 per cwt with the range from 
$45.00 to $46.75 on 1,416 head reported sold. Pork carcass values slipped late 
in the week, with prices falling $0.02 per cwt at $61.21 per cwt with 210 loads 
traded. Lean hog index for 2/20 is $54.06, down $0.07, with a projected two-day 
index is $53.65, down $0.41.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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