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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/23 11:52

   Hog Futures Surge Higher

   Volatility in the hog complex continues to be seen with sharp triple-digit 
gains flooding into nearby lean hog futures at midday. Traders once again seem 
to put aside demand concerns and are focusing on summer supply issues. 

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Renewed buyer support has quickly jumped back into the lean hog futures 
market. Light to moderate volume is still expected to exist through the hog 
complex, but firming cash and carcass values in the morning report have put the 
focus back on tight supply situations. Cattle futures are holding light to 
moderate gains in most nearby contracts. Corn futures are higher at midday. May 
corn futures are 7 cents per bushel higher. Stock markets are lower in light 
trade. The Dow Jones is 13 points lower while Nasdaq is down 23 points.


   Narrowly mixed trade continues to hold in nearby live cattle futures April 
futures are holding a 20 cent loss, as traders continue to exit the soon the 
April market and move into the June and August futures contracts. April futures 
are still able to sustain price levels above the $143 per cwt threshold, which 
could keep from drawing aggressive liquidation in the market over the near 
future. Firmness in boxed beef values in morning reports helped to spark the 
added interest through summer contracts. Cash cattle markets are still quiet 
with a few bids starting to develop around $132 per cwt in the North. At this 
point it may be after the cattle on feed report is released Friday afternoon. 
Asking prices are at $148 and higher in the South and $238 and higher in the 
North. Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.28 per cwt higher (select) and up 
$1.14 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 92 total loads reported (36 loads 
of choice cuts, 24 loads of select cuts, four loads of trimmings, 28 loads of 
ground beef).


   Moderate gains are holding across the feeder cattle complex despite the 
firming tone of corn markets and lack of strong buyer interest in the live 
cattle complex. Traders are looking for additional direction from outside 
markets and potential additional insight into the upcoming cattle on feed 
report which will be released Friday. 


   Triple-digit gains have redeveloped through lean hog futures with June and 
July futures holding a $1.45 and $1.77 per cwt gain respectively. The firmness 
in both cash values and pork carcass values on the morning report helped to 
redevelop buyer support. This could sustain buyer interest through the end of 
the session. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog 
report. The weighted average price higher $1.30 per cwt to $115.73 per cwt with 
the range from $105.00 to $117.50 per cwt on 1,427 head reported sold. Cash 
prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa Minnesota Direct 
morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report reported 283 loads with 
prices gaining $1.37 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/18 is at $119.65 down 1.21, 
with a projected two-day index of $118.48 down 1.17. 

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


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