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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/21 12:00

   Cattle Futures Surge Higher          

   Despite light pressure in the opening minutes of trade, the cattle complex 
has roared higher most of the morning Monday. Lean hog futures remain under 
pressure, led by sharp losses in front month August futures. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Cattle futures have shown additional widespread support through the morning 
with aggressive buyer support quickly erasing any sense of market insecurity 
seen just after opening bell. Feeder cattle futures are holding triple digit 
gains in most contract months following the strong push higher in nearby live 
cattle futures. Hog markets are mixed to lower with front month August 
contracts setting the tone of weaker prices. Corn futures are lower at midday. 
September corn futures are 8 cents per bushel lower. Stock markets are lower in 
light trade. The Dow Jones is 74 points lower while Nasdaq is down 16 points.


   Live cattle futures continue to hold moderate to strong gains through 
midmorning. The most aggressive support is seen in the nearby contracts with 
triple-digit gains developing in front-month August futures. The focus through 
the market remains placed on tight cattle supplies and need to gain access to 
live cattle while beef values continue to appreciate at a rapid pace. Cash 
cattle markets are back to a normal Monday routine of show list distribution. 
Show lists seem to be smaller once again overall, which will likely continue to 
tighten the availability of cattle that packers have access too. It is expected 
to be Tuesday or Wednesday before token bids start to be seen. Beef cut-outs at 
midday are higher, $1.69 per cwt higher (select) and up $2.02 per cwt (choice) 
with light movement of 72 total loads reported (49 loads of choice cuts, 14 
loads of select cuts, one load of trimmings, 11 loads of ground beef).


   The ability for live cattle futures to rally higher through early morning 
trade and hold strong gains through the entire morning has sparked additional 
interest into the feeder cattle complex. All nearby feeder cattle futures are 
holding gains over $1 per cwt with traders looking for additional direction 
from outside markets. The softness in the grain complex is also lending support 
to the market. 


   Strong pressure is redeveloping in the August futures contracts with losses 
of $1.70 per cwt holding through midday. The rest of the complex remains mixed 
in narrow to moderate ranges as there seems to be a lack of direction early in 
the week across the complex. The continued pressure in cash hog markets is 
getting very little attention beyond front month contacts as traders continue 
to try to focus potential longer term supply levels with pork demand changes 
through the end of the year. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $1.05 per cwt to 
$126.29 per cwt with the range from $125.00 to $127.54 per cwt on 2,559 head 
reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa 
Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report is 
reported 82 loads selling as prices falling $0.79 per cwt. Lean hog index for 
7/17 is at 133.78 down 0.39, with a projected two-day index of $133.16 down 

   Rick Kment can be reached at


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