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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/20 11:43

   Renewed Gains Sweep Through Hog Futures

   Active trade has pushed lean hog futures sharply higher Wednesday morning 
with nearby and deferred contracts posting uniform triple-digit gains. This is 
sparking increased momentum through the week.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Aggressive renewed buying has flooded through lean hog trade with nearby 
contract holding $2 per cwt or greater at midday. The continued support could 
hit daily trading limits, potentially moving to expanded trading limits 
Thursday. Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. May corn futures are 3/4 
cent lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 145 points 
lower with Nasdaq down 25 points. 


   Buyer support has continued to ratchet higher through nearby contrasts with 
April futures now trading above $129 per cwt. The steady buyer support moving 
into the complex has continued to spark potential optimism surrounding the 
ability to push prices above $130 per cwt and setting long-term highs not seen 
in over a year. A close above $130 per cwt would likely spark additional buyer 
support, further supporting commercial and noncommercial interest through the 
entire cattle complex. Cash cattle interest is still quiet with active trade 
expected to be pushed off until late in the week. A few asking prices have 
redeveloped with prices at $130 to $132 per cwt live and $210 dressed. Boxed 
Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.96 lower (select) and down $0.71 per cwt 
(choice) with light movement of 60 total loads reported (35 loads of choice 
cuts, 13 loads of select cuts, 3 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).


   Strong gains have swiftly and aggressively moved into deferred feeder cattle 
trade. May through November contracts are holding gains of $1.35 to $1.70 per 
cwt as traders adjust to short-term market highs as follow through commercial 
buying is moving back into the complex. The continued support in live cattle 
trade as nearby contracts focus on strong beef demand and potential additional 
investment trade entering the market, has added momentum to long-term feeder 
cattle trade.


   Active buyer support has quickly moved into all contract months with April 
futures leading the complex higher with a $2.70 per cwt rally. This move has 
moved spot month prices to $73.50 per cwt, expanding the rally over $20 per cwt 
since the middle of February. This could add some additional underlying support 
through the entire market following expectations of increased pork demand 
worldwide based on African Swine Flu affecting overall pork supplies. Cash 
prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted 
average price added $1.71 at $59.30 per cwt with the range from $54.00 to 
$63.00, on 6,078 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the 
Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added 
$1.84 at $60.59 per cwt with the range from $54.00 to $63.00, on 3,238 head 
reported sold. Pork have continued to adjust higher, despite mixed price 
movements in primals midweek. Pork cutouts gained $0.31 per cwt at $74.45 per 
cwt with 158 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/18 is $57.54, up $1.00, with a 
projected two-day index is $59.22, up $1.68.

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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