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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/22 11:55

   Another Day for Lean Hog Contracts 

   Cattle contracts are holding idle trading lower while the lean hog contracts 
are looking positively for higher trade. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   Lean hog contracts are taking advantage of the opportunity to trade slightly 
higher while cattle contracts are falling lower and not gaining any market 
interest. March corn is steady and March soybean meal is steady. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average is down 21.29 points and NASDAQ is up 34.12 points.


   Another day passes and the cattle contracts sit quietly lower. Caught in a 
steady holding pattern between $125 and $127.50, contracts keep trading in 
between both planes with no current support from the cash market to push prices 
out of the common ground. February live cattle are down $0.07 at $126.30, April 
live cattle are down $0.22 at $127.00 and June live cattle are down $0.40 at 
$118.77. Cash market action is yet to develop, and it wouldn't be surprising if 
trade waited until sometime Friday to get with business. Asking prices in the 
South are at $126 to $127, and in the North at $202-plus. 

   The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 561 head total, 
consisting of four lots (two lots in Nebraska, one lot each in Texas and 
Kansas), all set for 1-9-day delivery. Asking prices were at $124, only one lot 
sold in Kansas at $124.

   Boxed beef cutouts are mixed: choice up $0.67 ($215.18) and select down 
$0.51 ($212.96) with a movement of 90 loads (58.41 loads of choice, 10.47 loads 
of select, 3.98 loads of trim and 17.07 loads of ground beef). 


   Wednesday continues to bleed the feeder cattle market lower, with some 
nearby contracts dipping below $1.00 losses. January feeder cattle are down 
$0.75 at $144.32, March feeders are down $1.02 at $143.65 and April feeders are 
down $1.02 at $146.52. Without there being a clear direct for the live cattle 
market it's hard for the feeder cattle market to find solid ground. Interest on 
the board remains relatively minimal but sale barns continue to sell calves for 
higher prices and there's an exceptional market right now for lighter-weight 
calves that will make grass calves come spring. 


   The lean hog complex is having another day of incremental gains through both 
the nearby and deferred contracts. February lean hogs are up $0.25 at $67.60, 
April lean hogs are up $0.60 at $74.42 and May lean hogs are up $0.45 at 
$80.80. It's helping the lean hog side of the market that the cattle contracts 
and cash cattle market is sitting steady so attention can focus on lean hog 

   The projected lean hog index for 1/21/2020 is up $0.84 at $61.02 and the 
actual for 1/20/2020 is up $0.04 at $60.18. Hog prices are lower on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.01 with a weighted average of 
$51.67, ranging from $48.00 to $52.50 on 8,315 head sold and a five-day rolling 
average of $51.67. Pork cutouts total 144.96 loads with 131.53 loads of pork 
cuts and 13.43 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $1.39, $79.58.  

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached 


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