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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/29 12:04

   Livestock Contracts Can't Seem But to Trade Lower 

   Yet another day engulfs the livestock contracts as prices drop lower and the 
thought of finding stability isn't easily understood. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   Livestock contracts don't have a lot of hopefulness for the day as the 
future's contracts trail lower and the cash cattle market isn't looking to 
trade positively. March corn is down 1 3/4 cents per bushel and March soybean 
meal is down $1.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 130.31 points and 
NASDAQ is up 34.73 points. 


   Support in the cattle contracts seems to be as reliable as a flickering 
flashlight while you're night calving that one cow who's tag reads, "spooky, 
jumpy, *$*@_%!." Earlier in the day live cattle and feeder cattle contracts 
attempted (ever so timidly) to press prices higher but support quickly fell and 
prices continue to drop for the fifth day now. And, not helping matters, 
packers are ready and eager to buy up fats while the market is depressed and 
opportunity to buy low presents itself. Packers have placed bids of $121 for 
live cattle in Nebraska and Texas, and $194 for dressed cattle in Nebraska. 
Asking prices are $125-plus in the South and $201 in the plus in the North. The 
Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed three lots Wednesday morning totaling 477 
head, all were set for 1-9 day delivery. Asking prices were at $123, but none 
sold. February live cattle are down $0.12 at $122.02, April live cattle are 
down $0.20 at $120.50 and June live cattle are down $0.35 at $112.12. 

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.98 ($213.83) and select down $0.13 
($212.03) with a movement of 70 loads (43.94 loads of choice, 7.55 loads of 
select, 5.75 loads of trim and 12.90 loads of ground beef). 


   The feeder cattle market opened higher than Tuesday's close and seemed to 
have a shot of support and energy but not long after the day's opening, the 
market shot lower and continues to trade $0.05 to $0.87 lower. January feeder 
cattle are up $0.07 at $142.12 (and expire Thursday), March feeder cattle are 
down $0.10 at $135.30, April feeders are down $0.42 at $137.35 and May feeders 
are down $0.50 at $139.55. With support in the live cattle contracts becoming 
slimmer and slimmer, the feeder cattle contracts are going to have a tough go. 


   Lean hogs may be leading the plunge lower on the board but at least the cash 
hog market is rallying. Lean hog contracts dive anywhere from $1.27 to $2.30 
lower as the day enters the noon hour. February lean hogs are down $1.50 at 
$64.72, April lean hogs are down $2.30 at $69.00 and May lean hogs are down 
$2.17 at $75.47. Thankfully packers are still keeping a swift slaughter pace 
helping to keep one side of the market positive for the hog sector. 

   The projected lean hog index for 1/28/2020 is up $0.66 at $62.40, and the 
actual for 1/27/2020 is u $0.10 at $61.74. Hog prices are higher on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.68 with a weighted average of $55.48, 
ranging from $49.00 to $58.00 on 7,825 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$53.55. Pork cutouts total 195 loads with 172.94 loads of pork cuts and 22.07 
loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $2.85, $73.03. 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached 


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