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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/24 12:14

   Triple-Digit Losses Develop in Cattle Trade 

   Cattle markets have quickly moved sharply lower. The losses have adjusted to 
the increased placement levels seen in feeder cattle numbers on the cattle on 
feed report. This could add even more uncertainty to the volatile market 
through the end of April.  

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   Livestock futures are mixed to mostly lower at midday following a strong 
push higher in the cattle complex. There is expected to draw additional trade 
volume near closing bell. Corn prices are lower in light trade. May corn 
futures are 5 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow 
Jones is 161 points lower while Nasdaq is down 51 points.


   Aggressive market pressure has continued to move into all live cattle trade. 
This has moved through the complex with weakness seen greatest in June and 
August futures. These contracts have posted $2 to $2.15 per cwt losses, 
although the rest of the market are also posting triple-digit losses and 
quickly pulling away from the support seen over the last couple of weeks. Even 
with the downward movement in the market, it is hard to imagine that the 
overall tone of the market is turning bearish at this point, as traders 
continue to focus on the potential of recent market support and some underlying 
strength that could still move back into the market during the next couple of 
weeks. Cash cattle trade is undeveloped with bids quiet Monday. Overall show 
lists are smaller with Texas show lists quite a bit smaller while Nebraska 
offerings are slightly higher. Overall numbers are slightly smaller than last 
week. Asking prices are still undeveloped but will likely be more readily 
available by midweek. Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.17 lower (select) 
and up $0.71 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 65 total loads reported 
(32 loads of choice cuts, 15 loads of select cuts, 10 loads of trimmings, 8 
loads of ground beef). 


   Sharp losses have quickly moved into feeder cattle futures with the most 
aggressive pressure seen in deferred contracts. October and November futures 
are holding losses over $2 per cwt as traders continue to focus on the cattle 
on feed report which was released Friday. With 111% feeder cattle placed in 
feedlots compared to an estimated 107.5%, the bearishness of the market could 
continue through the next couple of days. The overall pullback from the 
bullishness seen over the last couple of weeks in the cattle markets is also 
giving to the market pressure.  


   Strong morning gains have developed through nearby lean hog futures trade 
focusing on short-covering activity. The focus on nearby buyer support helping 
to draw light support into the complex and cover spreading activity in cattle 
markets early in the week seems to be the main agenda early in the week. May 
futures are holding an 80 cent gain, although at this point, any market move is 
just window dressing given the aggressive downward price moves seen over the 
last couple of weeks and significant pressure through the complex. There may be 
some additional follow through buyer support in the market, but unless some 
support is seen in pork values and the cash hog market, this new found rally 
will be meaningless. Cash prices are lower at midday on the National Direct 
morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.39 at $53.10 per 
cwt with the range from $49.00 to $54.00 on 3,417 head reported sold. Cash 
prices are lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The 
weighted average price added $0.80 at $52.76 per cwt with the range from $49.00 
to $54.00 on 420 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report reported 
153 loads selling with prices gaining $0.95 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/20 is 
at $61.10 down $0.49 with a projected two-day index of $60.49 down $0.61. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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