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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/11 12:11

   Cattle Contracts Higher; Hog Complex Lower 

   Cattle contracts seem to be finding some midweek support, while lean hog 
contracts trade mostly lower. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   "Hello Wednesday" cattle contracts seem to say, with both live and feeder 
futures trading modestly higher. This is giving some support to the cash cattle 
market, but not really helping the lean hog futures. March corn is down 4 3/4 
cents per bushel and January soybean meal is down $2.60. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average is down 53.97 points and NASDAQ is up 11.85 points.  


   Opening nearly steady with Tuesday's close, live cattle futures have taken a 
turn for modestly higher prices and look to trade higher in the cash too. 
Wednesday morning at the Fed Cattle Exchange, the auction offered a total of 
1,068 head (two lots in Kansas, one lot in Texas and four lots in Nebraska). 
Asking prices ranged from $119 to $119.50, and no sales were reported. Asking 
prices float around the countryside at $121 to $121 in the South, and $192 plus 
in the North. It seems as though feeders know that if they are to get higher 
prices before the end of the year, the time is now before the market is 
overcome with Christmas. December live cattle are up $0.52 at $120.40, February 
live cattle are up $0.55 at $125.12 and April live cattle are up $0.70 at 

   Box beef prices are down: choice down $1.77 ($219.72) and select down $1.16 
($204.19) with a movement of 101 loads (63.29 loads of choice, 17.54 loads of 
select, 0 loads of trim and 20.40 loads of ground beef).  


   Live cattle and feeder cattle markets are performing well Wednesday. 
Wednesday comes as the fourth consecutive day of steady gains in the feeder 
cattle complex, and it looks like Wednesday's strength should carry into 
closing. January feeder cattle are up $0.95 at $142.60, March feeders are up 
$0.92 at $143.45 and April feeders are up $0.77 at $145.25. If this week's cash 
market can capture gains, the feeder cattle market may be able to steal some of 
that energy and post gains throughout the week. Given what countryside prices 
are though, it's going to be tough to rally the market much because of the 
surplus of calves and being a mere two weeks away from Christmas.  


   Wednesdays aren't the lean hog's time to shine. Showing a mildly depressed 
market, contracts are mostly lower. December lean hogs are up $0.15 at $60.62, 
February lean hogs are down $0.47 at $67.50 and April lean hogs are down $0.15 
at $74.05. Cash prices may be down slightly, but packers have been relatively 
aggressive and given that cutout values are still holding, cash prices may hold 
steady or come back up (slightly). 

   The projected two-day lean hog index for 12/09/19 is up $0.35 at $58.47, and 
the actual index for 12/06/19 came in at $58.12, up $0.37. Hog prices are lower 
on the National Direct Afternoon Hog Report, down $0.12 with a weighted average 
of $47.46, ranging from $42.00 to $48.97 on 10,153 hogs sold and five-day 
rolling average of $47.07. Pork cuts total 182.08 loads with 137.73 loads of 
pork cuts and 44.35 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are up $0.51 at $83.63.  

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached 


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