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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/22 11:47

   Feeders Drive Cattle Complex Higher Again Wednesday

   The positive momentum in the feeder cattle complex is helping drive the 
entire cattle sector higher into Wednesday's noon hour. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The feeder cattle complex is powering its way through Wednesday's trade and 
thankfully the live cattle complex is able to follow in its wake as its market 
is receiving some of the spillover support. Meanwhile, the lean hog complex 
continues to trade lower as demand remains unfruitful. August live cattle are 
up $1.03 at $181.45, August feeder cattle are up $2.73 at $262.55, June lean 
hogs are down $1.15 at $95.25, July corn is up 3 1/2 cents per bushel and July 
soybean meal is up $0.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 48.03 points.


   Even though midday boxed beef prices are lower, the live cattle complex 
doesn't seem to be too concerned as the market continues to charge higher. June 
live cattle are up $0.85 at $183.82, August live cattle are up $0.90 at $181.32 
and October live cattle are up $1.07 at $184.22. If afternoon boxed beef prices 
close lower, there's a chance traders could pull back from the market Thursday. 
But at this point, the complex still feels as though support is strong enough 
to justify higher trade. Still no cash cattle trade has developed and it's 
likely the market will wait to trade cattle Thursday, or even more likely on 
Friday. Asking prices in the South are noted at $188 to $190 but remain 
unestablished still in the North.

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.93 ($312.09) and select down 
$0.78 ($300.09) with a movement of 84 loads (58.43 loads of choice, 10.08 loads 
of select, 4.91 loads of trim and 10.38 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is seeing the most support thus far Wednesday as 
the contracts are trading anywhere from $1.00 to $2.00 higher. It's significant 
to see the spot August contract trading above its 100-day moving average, which 
is also likely adding fuel to the live cattle complex as the feeder cattle 
market's power is strong this morning. August feeders are up $2.55 at $262.37, 
September feeders are up $2.27 at $263.40 and October feeders are up $2.10 at 
$263.10. The May 2024 feeder cattle contract will expire Thursday, and 
currently there's a $12.00 spread between the May 2024 and August 2024 feeder 
cattle contracts.


   With demand continuing to lag in the pork sector, the lean hog complex is 
continuing to trade lower as the market desperately yearns for demand but 
continues to be disappointed by consumer interest. June lean hogs are down 
$1.15 at $95.25, July lean hogs are down $1.45 at $97.87 and August lean hogs 
are down $1.20 at $97.37. The loin continues to pull the carcass price lower as 
its down $2.70 Wednesday morning, and the butt is an issue this morning as its 
down $6.37.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 5/21/2024 is down $0.19 at $91.82 and 
the actual index for 5/20/2024 is down $0.21 at $92.01. Hog prices are lower on 
the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.47 with a weighted average price 
of $87.02, ranging from $85.00 to $88.00 on 1,721 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $88.26. Pork cutouts total 153.30 loads with 125.75 loads of pork 
cuts and 27.56 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.59, $100.10.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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