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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/01 11:47

   Cattle Futures Follow Feeder Cattle Prices Lower

   Active pressure Friday in all feeder cattle futures has created a weaker 
tone through the livestock market. Early month trade has taken a negative tone 
with $3 to $4 per cwt losses holding across the feeder cattle complex.

Rick Kment
DTN Analyst


   The month of December is starting where November left off, with cattle 
futures shifting lower as limited end of the week activity is further eroding 
the gains seen earlier in the week. Live cattle and feeder cattle futures 
remain above multi-month lows seen Monday, but the quick and aggressive 
pullback from midweek gains is creating some additional concerns about the 
ability for current support levels to hold over the next few trading sessions.

   Hog futures are mixed a moderate trading range with nearby futures holding 
losses of nearly $1 per cwt at midday, although slight gains are still able to 
hold in deferred contracts.

   Very limited market direction is likely to be seen through the end of the 
week in most lean hog trade, as traders look for additional pre-holiday market 
shifts possible over the next couple of weeks. March corn is up 3 at $4.858 and 
January soybean meal is down $8.80 at $415.2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 
is up 227.44 at 36,178.33.


   Live cattle futures have posted additional firm losses Friday morning. The 
fact that calendars rolled to the month of December did not change the overall 
tone of market direction seen at the end of November. February futures, which 
are the most actively traded contract in the live cattle complex, has fallen 
nearly $3 per cwt over the past two trading sessions.

   Although prices are still hovering above support levels and multi-month lows 
set earlier in the week, concerns that limited renewed support in both 
fundamental buying interest and technical trade could revert to additional 
follow through losses during early December.

   Feeder cattle futures continue to be a significant driver in the live cattle 
complex at the end of the week, as traders remain concerned of the extreme 
volatility in nearby feeder cattle contracts. Cash cattle markets remain quiet 
Friday morning. Although some additional trade is likely to be seen before the 
end of the week, it is uncertain just how much additional price movements will 
develop during the day Friday. Trade trickled in through most of the week with 
light and scattered trade seen in most areas over the past four days. Southern 
trade posted prices from $171 to $175 per cwt, mostly $174 to $175 per cwt, 
which is generally $2 to $3 per cwt lower than last week's average. Northern 
dressed trade developed at $275 per cwt, $4 per cwt under last week's weighted 
average. Some minor price shifts may develop, but the tone of the market is 
expected to remain weak.

   At this point, feeders are hoping for some stability heading into the first 
couple weeks of December. December live cattle are $0.80 lower at $170.075, 
February live cattle are $1.38 lower at $170.45, April live cattle are $1.60 
lower at $172.825. Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.00 ($298.02) and 
select up $1.16 ($265.91) with a movement of 115.24 loads (78.08 loads of 
choice, 9.60 loads of select, zero loads of trim and 27.56 loads of ground 


   Feeder cattle are sharply lower once again Friday morning with $3 to $4 per 
cwt losses holding at midday. The aggressive early month pressure in the 
complex is creating additional concerns that early week support levels set 
Monday may not be able to hold unless renewed buyer interest develops over the 
upcoming days. Very little has changed in market fundamentals over the last 
week, but the concern that current cattle on feed and additional cattle still 
need to be placed may limit long-term support if overall beef demand does not 
meet or exceed expectations. This could keep feeder cattle futures moving in a 
volatile but weaker pattern through the near future and add to market 
uncertainty in all cattle markets.

   January feeders are $3.38 lower at $216.575, March feeders are $3.75 lower 
at $218.825 and April feeders are $3.95 lower at $222.725.


   Lean hog futures have remained mixed during morning trade with moderate 
pressure in nearby contracts offset by fractional gains in lightly traded 
deferred contracts. The weakness sweeping through cattle markets is having an 
impact on nearby lean hog futures due to overall trader activity. Traders are 
also focusing on potential moves in both cash hog values and pork prices up to 
and through the holidays, as this may have a longer-term direction on trade 
interest, especially in spot month contracts. December lean hogs closed steady, 
February lean hogs are $0.78 lower at $70.70 and April lean hogs are $0.43 
lower at $76.925.

   Hog Prices are lower on the Daily Direct Morning Hog report, down $2.97 with 
a weighted average of $56.79, ranging from $52.00 to $62.00 on 2,259 head with 
a five-day rolling average of $59.81. Pork Cutouts totaled 198.99 loads with 
179.53 loads of pork cuts and 19.46 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down 
$3.13 at $81.15.

   Rick Kment can be reached at


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