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DTN Early Word Opening Livestock       04/17 06:13
   Meat Contracts Geared to Open Moderately Lower

   The cattle complex should initially trade somewhat softer, checked by profit
taking and pre-cash positioning. Lean hog futures are also likely to open
moderately lower, pressured by pre-holiday long liquidation.

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst

Cattle: Steady Futures: 10-30 LR Live Equiv $154.62 + 0.59*
Hogs: Steady-$1 LR Futures: 25-50 LR Lean Equiv $128.93 - 0.57**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue


   If cattle traders really want to get away for a long holiday weekend,
they'll have to come to terms sometime over the next several hours. For
packers, it's the same old problem, caught between tight feedlot supplies and
unattractive processing margins. On the other hand, producers are confident
about immediate leverage but nervous about growing numbers later this spring
and the implications of sharp board discounts. Look for opening bids around
$144-146 in the South and $238-240 in the North. Look for asking prices to be
restated around $149-150 in the South and $242-243 in the North. Live and
feeder futures should open moderately lower as traders take profits and jockey
ahead of feedlot business.
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