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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/20 12:09

   Sharp Hog Gains Holding at Midday 

   Lean hog futures have posted a strong rally early Tuesday morning as traders 
try to adjust to the recent market lows set last week. Cattle markets are mixed 
in light trade as sluggish volume is likely to be seen through the rest of the 
day. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   Cattle futures remain focused on long-term direction through the complex 
with firming support seen in feeder cattle markets during late morning. Hog 
futures are bouncing higher with triple-digit gains holding in most contracts. 
Corn prices are mixed in light trade. March corn futures are steady Tuesday. 
Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 97 points lower while 
Nasdaq is up 52 points.

   LIVE CATTLE:

   Narrow trading ranges have continued to develop Tuesday morning as traders 
trickle back into the market from the long weekend. Nearby contracts are 
holding narrow gains, but this being offset by narrow losses in deferred 
contracts. There is growing stability in beef values, but it is uncertain if 
this will translate to increased buyer support in the nearby futures trade 
during the week. Cash cattle activity remains undeveloped through the complex 
with bids and asking prices are still undeveloped. It may be the second half of 
the week before any significant developments are seen in the market. There are 
also some expectations that the strong rally last week will significantly 
increase asking prices and firm feedlot manager resolve. Boxed beef cut-outs at 
midday are higher, $3.07 higher (select) and up $3.20 per cwt (choice) with 
light movement of 69 total loads reported (38 loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of 
select cuts, 7 loads of trimmings, 11 loads of ground beef). 

   FEEDER CATTLE:

   Narrow trading ranges seen early in the session have widened as traders seem 
to have gained increased momentum following strong gains in boxed beef values. 
This has pushed front month March futures 90 cents per cwt higher as traders 
continue to focus on long term market support in all nearby contracts.       

   LEAN HOGS:

   Strong gains have flooded into the lean hog futures complex. This is helping 
to sustain triple-digit gains in all markets. Additional support is likely to 
be seen through all the markets during the rest of the trading session with 
traders trying to take advantage of the aggressive losses seen last week. Cash 
prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price is down $0.26 at $64.18 per cwt with the range from $63.00 to 
$64.50 on 6,339 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota 
Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.30 at 
$64.29 per cwt with the range from $63.50 to $64.50 on 2,537 head reported 
sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 241 loads selling with carcass 
values adding $1.62 per cwt. Lean hog index for 2/16 is at $72.09, down 0.80 
with a projected two-day index of $71.41, down 0.68. 

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


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