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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/16 11:44

   Thursday's Thorn Still Buried in Side of Livestock Futures

   Rounding out the week on a not-so-optimistic note, the livestock futures 
head into Friday afternoon trade fully lower. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   After a long, gruesome week in the cattle futures, watching the contracts 
trade steadily lower into Friday afternoon feels like a brutal punishment and 
watching paint dry. The lean hog futures thus far haven't dipped into their 
expanded limits but are continuing to feel pressured as the day ticks on. May 
corn is down 5 3/4 cents per bushel and July soybean meal is steady. The Dow 
Jones Industrial Average is up 93.60 points and NASDAQ is up 5.34 points.


   Another day, another slippery slope of liquation and high corn prices amid 
slightly higher cash cattle prices and higher boxes in the live cattle market. 
Man, has it been a tough week! April live cattle are down $0.60 at $121.00, 
June live cattle are down $0.45 at $119.22 and August live cattle are down 
$0.45 at $119.25. The cash cattle market is still surprisingly quiet following 
Thursday's trade. There should be more cattle trade before the end of the day, 
though as of right now the countryside is oddly quiet. Feedlots grew skeptical 
about waiting the week out much longer than Thursday as they feared the week's 
lighter kill, the rising cost of corn and some had a basis incentive.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $0.32 ($276.94) and select up $0.70 
($269.13) with a movement of 61 loads (37.31 loads of choice, 6.06 loads of 
select, 9.32 loads of trim and 7.84 loads of ground beef).


   Feeder cattle futures are finishing up in the same doggish manner of their 
entire week. Without much incentive from the cash cattle market, and even 
though corn prices are trading lower heading into the afternoon, the market 
still must weigh the facts that inputs are high compared to their returns on 
cattle at this point. April feeders are down $0.02 at $140.02, May feeders are 
down $0.37 at $144.05 and August feeders are down $0.52 at $155.07.


   With the April contract now expired, the lean hog market looks to June to 
set the pace. June lean hogs are down $1.67 at $103.02, July lean hogs are down 
$1.60 at $100.77 and August lean hogs are down $0.82 at $96.97. Packers 
vigorously supported the cash hog market early Friday morning as there's 
already been upward of 7,600 head bought at $2.80 more than Thursday morning's 
weighted average. After a volatile trade throughout Thursday, seeing the 
complex trade $1.00 to $2.00 lower is better than the steep $3.00 dip the 
market took Thursday. But how the contracts trade throughout the afternoon will 
be vital as the volatile environment can change in a second.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 4/14/2021 is up $0.33 at $103.03 and 
the actual index for 4/13/2021 is up $0.32 at $102.70. Hog prices are sharply 
higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $2.80 with a weighted 
average of $103.96, ranging from $101.30 to $106.00 on 7,610 head and a 
five-day rolling average of $101.32. Pork cutouts total 162.75 loads with 
132.20 loads of pork cuts and 30.56 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down 
$0.68, $112.69.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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