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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/21 12:10

   Livestock Contracts Soak Up the Market's Support

   Thursday has ended up being a far better day than anticipated as all of the 
livestock contracts are trading higher into the afternoon.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

   General Comments

   Support is pouring into the livestock contracts allowing the entire 
marketplace to trade higher heading into Thursday's afternoon. Unfortunately, 
with there already being a good test on this week's cash cattle market it's 
going to be hard for feedlots to push the cash cattle market higher. March corn 
is up 1 3/4 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is down $3.60. The Dow 
Jones Industrial Average is down 39.11 points and NASDAQ is up 28.39 points.


   Feedlots are wishing that with the stout advancement in the boxed beef 
market Thursday morning and the reignited support that's allowing the live 
cattle contracts to trade higher, that they would have waited until later in 
the week to market their cattle. February live cattle are up $0.72 at $114.07, 
April live cattle are up $0.92 at $119.80 and June live cattle are up $0.95 at 
$117.10. There's been a little renewed interest in the cash cattle market, but 
packers are hesitant to seem too aggressive while the market is strong. 
Watching the April board continues to be a top priority and with Thursday's 
advancement the contract has now moved to long-term highs and is on the edge of 
trading at $120. Bids of $172 have surfaced in Nebraska while the rest of the 
countryside sits idle. Asking prices of $112 still remain in the South and 
cattle in the North left to sell are priced at $176 to $178.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.48 ($221.39) and select up $3.01 
($210.19) with a movement of 70 loads (39.88 loads of choice, 5.43 loads of 
select, 6.81 loads of trim and 17.89 loads of ground beef).


   Even as the corn contracts have bounced around trading anywhere from $0.01 
to $0.04 higher throughout the morning, the feeder cattle contracts seem to 
shed no concern and trade fully higher once again. January feeders are up $0.25 
at $135.55, March feeders are up $1.52 at $139.05 and April feeders are up 
$1.25 at $141.87. Feeder cattle sales have been hit or miss this week with 
excellent demand being strongly noted for light-weight calves that offer the 
ability to either go into the feedlot later this spring or work as grass calves 
-- not to mention, the spring contracts are far more favorable the further time 
rolls into 2021.


   With pork cutouts printing a fancy $4.96 gain Thursday morning, and the 
futures market fully supported the lean hog complex is having a terrific 
Thursday. Now yes, the cash hog market is lower but following packer's purchase 
of around 13,000 head Wednesday afternoons, the cash market is expected to 
trade lower. February lean hogs are down $0.10 at $68.32, April lean hogs are 
up $0.97 at $74.05 and June lean hogs are up $0.72 at $85.22.

   The projected lean hog index for 1/20/2021 is down $0.27 at $65.40, and the 
actual index for 1/19/2021 is down $0.25 at $65.67. Hog prices are lower on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.95 with a weighted average of 
$54.69, ranging from $46.00 to $56.50 on 5,313 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $55.07. Pork cutouts total 156.48 loads with 120.10 loads of pork 
cuts and 36.38 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $4.96, $83.98.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached


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