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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/04 11:41

   Cautious Tones Summarize Monday's Livestock Trade 

   The livestock complex is trading lower into Monday's noon hour as traders 
remain reluctant to overly support the contracts early in the week. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is trading cautiously Monday as traders look for 
support before they engage much in this week's market. Packers were able to get 
some cattle bought with time last week, which could pressure this week's cash 
market. May corn is up 3 3/4 cents per bushel and May soybean meal is up $0.40. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 51.08 points.


   Live cattle futures are lower as traders wait to see what develops in favor 
of the market following Friday's aggressive rally. It's supportive already that 
boxed beef prices are continuing to trade higher, but traders are reluctant to 
overly back the market this morning. April live cattle are down $0.75 at 
$187.70, June live cattle are down $0.77 at $183.22 and August live cattle are 
down $0.30 at $182.40. No cash cattle trade has developed and it's likely 
business is delayed until the second half of the week.

   Last week's negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 71,697 head. Of that 79% 
(56,501 head) were committed to the nearby delivery, while the remaining 21% 
(15,196 head) were committed to the deferred delivery. Last week Southern live 
cattle sold for mostly $183, steady with the previous week's weighted average, 
and Northern dressed cattle traded for mostly $290, $2 lower than last week's 
weighted average.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $1.39 ($306.67) and select up $1.61 
($297.35) with a movement of 30 loads (17.36 loads of choice, 6.34 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 6.33 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle futures are trading lower as the market takes note of the 
$0.04 to $0.07 increase in nearby corn prices. March feeders are down $1.15 at 
$251.82, April feeders are down $1 at $257.00 and May feeders e down $1.22 at 
$258.95. Without the support of a stronger live cattle complex, it's tough for 
feeder cattle contracts to trade higher when the corn complex is inflicting 


   Like the cattle contracts, the lean hog market is trading under some 
pressure, although some deferred contracts are trading slightly higher. April 
lean hogs are down $1.25 at $86.82, June lean hogs are steady at $102.05 and 
July lean hogs are up $0.20 at $103.22. It makes perfect sense that the nearby 
contracts are taking a cautious approach to Monday's market given that Friday's 
market charged to resistance and given that traders have yet to see what the 
demand outlook for this week is going to be.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 3/1/2024 is up $0.15 at $80.41, and the 
actual index for 2/29/2024 is up $0.11 at $80.26. Hog prices are higher on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, up $1.83 with a weighted average price of 
$73.25, ranging from $71.00 to $75.00 on 534 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $71.80. Pork cutouts total 137.62 loads with 119.17 loads of pork 
cuts and 18.45 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.18, $94.27.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at shayle.stewart@dtn.com.

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