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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      02/22 06:26
   Pre-Report Positioning Expected Ahead of Friday's Cattle on Feed

   Most cattle contracts closed higher Wednesday, but without much fanfare. The
greatest gain was seen in the May feeder cattle contract, which posted a gain
of $1.00. Futures may drift ahead of the report. Hogs were mixed as traders
balanced stronger cash with lower cutouts.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady          Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $218.80 -$0.50*

   Hogs: Lower            Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:   $96.28 -$2.27**

   *Based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue.
(The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live
cattle weights and grading percentages.)

   ** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue.


   Cattle futures tried to run higher with February and April live cattle
bumping the bottom of the chart gap, but that is where traders sold more
aggressively. At least contracts were able to maintain the uptrend. Not much
upside is expected ahead of Friday's Cattle on Feed report. There is much
expectation for significantly lower placements, but that has failed to push
futures substantially higher, which may indicate it is already factored in. The
estimates for the report are for cattle on feed Feb. 1 100.1% with the trade
estimates ranging from 99.4% to 101.1%. Placements are estimated at 88.2% with
the estimates ranging from 81.6% to 94.9%. If the estimated placement number is
correct, it would be the lowest placement number for January since 2007.
January marketings are estimated at 100.0% with a range of 98.6% to 100.3%. A
few cash cattle traded in Iowa for $288 Wednesday, but this is not sufficient
to indicate prices for the week. Boxed prices were mixed with choice up $0.43
and select down $3.36.
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