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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/09 12:01

   Cattle Futures Remain Lower, But Pull off of Morning Lows   

   Strong early pressure quickly developed through live cattle and feeder 
cattle markets. The lack of support in the market remains focused on early week 
pressure and softness developing in cattle trade. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Firm losses have quickly developed through live cattle futures early in the 
session, but lack of follow through selling pressure has allowed for loses to 
be cut in half and markets to moderate through the end of the week. Hog markets 
are mixed in a choppy market direction. Corn prices are lower light trade. 
December corn futures are 3/4 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light 
trade. The Dow Jones is 78 points higher while Nasdaq is up 21 points.


   Live cattle futures have stabilized at midday, giving up sharp double-digit 
losses, although the complex still remains firmly lower. Early losses have been 
cut in half through the morning, but the lack of buyer support seen in the 
market may continue to limit trade activity not only late Friday, but through 
the first half of next week. Cash cattle activity has become more active with 
trade seen in the South at $110 per cwt while activity in the North is hovering 
near $170 per cwt. Beef cut-outs at midday are higher $0.43 (select) and up 
$0.77 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 72 total loads reported (38 
loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, 15 loads 
of ground beef). 


   Feeder cattle futures have pulled back from triple-digit losses during 
midmorning, with losses hovering in a narrow trading range. Trade volume has 
remained extremely light through most of the morning, allowing for this early 
pressure to fade as contracts are filled. Currently trade is holding at 80 to 
95 cents per cwt lower, creating some lack of direction going into next week.


   Activity in lean hog futures remains quiet through most of the morning 
Friday with firm late morning gains still holding in December contracts, while 
the rest of the complex has eroded through the trading session. End of the week 
positioning is the main focus Friday, as the current losses are no threat to 
the aggressive market shift higher seen over the last week. Cash prices are 
lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average 
price fell $1.32 at $52.12 per cwt with the range from $46.00 to $54.00 on 
3,044 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $2.07 per cwt to 
$51.76 per cwt with the range from $48.00 to $54.00 on 1,089 head reported 
sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 155 loads selling with prices 
falling $0.07 per cwt. Lean hog index for 12/6 is at $51.95 up $0.92 with a 
projected two-day index of $53.17 up $1.22. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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