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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/23 11:41

   Traders Gingerly Step Back Into Livestock Market 

   After two days of blistering high corn prices, the corn market has settled 
and consequently the livestock contracts are back to a modest upward quest. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The regression in the corn market's rally gave traders enough confidence to 
step back into the livestock contracts and modestly support the markets heading 
into the final trading day of the week. It's looking like the bulk of this 
week's cash cattle trade is done as bids have yet to be renewed. May corn is up 
1 3/4 cents per bushel and July soybean meal is up $2.00. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average is up 192.45 points and NASDAQ is up 180.13 points.


   Live cattle futures have been mostly higher through early Friday trade, but 
as the noon hour gets closer and closer there is resistance building in the 
nearby contracts. April live cattle are down $0.90 at $117.42, June live cattle 
are down $0.37 at $115.45 and August live cattle are down $0.12 at $116.60. 
This past week has been incredibly frustrating for cattlemen and feedlot 
managers alike as they've tried and tried to market their cattle, but when the 
board lacks any positive movement and the corn market jumps limit higher, it's 
hard not to sell cattle (even at lower prices). The concerning aspect about the 
market moving forward is that a plethora of cattle have been sold with delayed 
delivery, which will undermine the cash cattle market in the weeks to come 
regardless of what boxed beef prices do or how strong slaughter speeds are. 
Friday's cash cattle market is as quiet a church mouse without any bids having 
been renewed at this point in the day. Before heading out for the weekend make 
sure to look for DTN's updates on the latest Cattle on Feed Report.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $1.01 ($283.32) and select down $1.28 
($272.41) with a movement of 92 loads (62.03 loads of choice, 8.50 loads of 
select, 7.18 loads of trim and 13.84 loads of ground beef).


   The break in the corn rally has given the feeder cattle complex some relief 
as cattle buyers worked and re-worked their cost of gains this past week to 
adjust for the higher corn prices. April feeder cattle are up $1.80 at $134.00, 
May feeders are up $0.10 at $137.12 and August feeders are up $0.77 at $149.15. 
The cattle market has had a gruesome week, taking blows not only from higher 
corn prices but also from the regression in the cash cattle market.


   Lean hog futures are back to rallying modestly as traders are less opposed 
to investing in the markets Friday as they were Wednesday and Thursday amid the 
corn market's surge. June lean hogs are up $1.87 at $105.47, July lean hogs are 
up $2.00 at $104.25 and August lean hogs are up $1.95 at $100.87. Packers 
aren't showing much aggression in the morning's cash market but the day's not 
over and there's still plenty of time for more hogs to be bought. That being 
said, however, it wouldn't be surprising if Friday's cash market volume was 
slim as packers are no longer running vigorous Saturday kills with supplies as 
slim as they are.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 4/22/2021 is up $0.52 at $106.52, and 
the actual index for 4/21/2021 is up $0.87 at $105.99. Hog prices are lower on 
the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.20 with a weighted average of 
$105.52, ranging from $102.00 to $113.00 on 2,025 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $104.70. Pork cutouts total 207.51 loads with 180.86 loads of pork 
cuts and 26.65 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.56, $114.20.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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