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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          10/19 12:10

   Cattle Futures Staged Moderate Losses at Midday

   The cattle complex is moderately lower near the top of the noon hour as 
traders engage in long liquidation prior to the development of cash news and 
late week on feed numbers. At the same time, lean hog futures are narrowly 
mixed with nearby issues modestly higher.

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst


   Feedlot country remains untested at midday with just a few scattered bids 
reported across the area ($109-110 in the South; $l09/$172-173 in the South). 
Asking prices are around $112-plus in the South and $175-plus in the North. It 
looks like we're in for another eleventh hour showdown sometime Friday. 
According to the midday report, the national hog base is 0.54 lower 
($57.50-63.00, weighted average $61.86). The corn market is 1-2 cents lower 
near the top of the noon hour as prices continue to bang around in a narrow 
trading range. Equities are generally lower at midday with the Dow off 36 
points and the Nasdaq down by 45.


   Live cattle issues seem to be sagging near midday (off 45 to 70 points), 
even though action has been on the choppy side for most of the morning. The 
slow way the cash market is developing this week has drained aggressive buying 
interest here (at least for the moment).

   Some of the long liquidation may be tied to nervousness in the face of 
tomorrow's on feed report which many fear will confirm yet another round of 
larger placement activity. Beef cut-outs are solidly higher at midday, up .50 
(choice, $197.76) to $1.34 (select, $190.43) with light to moderate box 
movement (39 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 4 loads of 
trimmings, 13 loads of coarse grinds).


   Following the defensive lead of live issues, feeder futures also look 
moderately lower as traders move into the final hour of market business. 
Currently, prices are 10-40 lower. Again, the premium status of the cash index 
should work as brakes on any expended sell-off.


   Although lean hog issues started the day with a decent head of steam, buying 
interest has cooled near midday. At the time, contracts are no better than 
narrowly mixed, up 5 to off 55. The rising cash index is understandable lending 
more support to nearby issues than their deferred counterparts. The carcass 
value at midday is essentially steady as higher loin sales offset softer ham, 
picnic, and belly biz. Pork cut-out: $73.93, up .05. CME cash lean index for 
10/17: 62.21, up 1.21 (DTN Projected lean index for 10/18: 63.34, up 1.13).

   John A. Harrington 


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