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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/31 12:06

   Cattle Futures Slammed at Midday by Outside Markets

   The cattle complex is sharply lower at midday with triple-digit losses 
dominating both pits. On the other hand, lean hog futures are mixed, retreating 
from the impressive highs of early session.

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst



GENERAL COMMENTS: 

   Cattle country remains essentially quiet near the top of the noon hour with 
just a few bids reported in pats of the North at $255-259. Asking prices are 
holding firm $168-170 in the South and $265-270 in the North. According to the 
midday report, the national hog base is 2.25 lower compared with the Prior Day 
settlement ($111.00-120.00, weighted average $117.74). Corn futures are 1-4 
cents lower, pressured by poor export sales and a general lack of price 
supporting factors. The stock market is struggling at midday with the Dow off 
more than 200 points. Wall Street analysts are blaming fears of European 
deflation, higher labor costs, and the possibility of higher interest rates. 
Note that the U.S. dollar index seems to be moving higher. 

   LIVE CATTLE: 

   Mostly 115 to 232 lower. Live contracts are struggling today, partially 
thanks to pre-cash profit taking and partially thanks to bearish vibes from 
outside markets. Trade volume is said to be quite light. Beef cut-outs are 
higher at midday, up 0.54 (select, $261.37) to $1.60 (choice, $264.52) with 
light box movement (37 loads of choice cuts, 21 loads of select cuts, one load 
of trimmings, 11 loads of coarse grinds).

   FEEDER CATTLE: 

   Off 192 to 300. Feeders are definitely taking a breather today, pressured by 
the same considerations stated for the defensive tone in the live pit. Perhaps 
action here had simply become too hot not to cool off.  

   LEAN HOGS: 

   Mixed, up 45 to off 75. Lean hog contracts enjoyed a short-covering rally 
through midsession or so, but the selling bias has resurfaced over the last 
hour. Summer fundamentals remain disappointing with pork demand faltering 
despite a significant reduction of tonnage on the street. Carcass value is 
sharply lower at midday with all primals quoted lower except the rib. Pork 
cut-out: $128.52, off $1.71. CME cash lean 07/29: 127.91, off 1.00 (DTN 
Projected lean index for 07/30: 126.83, off 1.08).


(SK)

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