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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/14 11:34

   Livestock Contracts Pray Friday Damage is Minimal 

   It's been a roller coaster of a week and the livestock futures are anxiously 
waiting for the weekend to come, hoping little damage is done Friday afternoon. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   This week has been anything but predictable and the livestock future  s are 
counting down the minutes until Friday's last bell. After Thursday's depressing 
trade, traders seem to be content to let the weekend come before doing much 
more in the contracts. July corn is down 13 3/4 cents per bushel and July 
soybean meal is up $1.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 286.87 points 
and NASDAQ is up 267.88 points.


   After Thursday's depressing trade, the live cattle market was hoping to 
simply skate by Friday and head into the weekend without any more damage. The 
contracts are mostly lower, but as of now the losses aren't vast, as only 
modest pressure looms above the market heading into Friday afternoon trade. 
June live cattle are up $0.15 at $115.75, August live cattle are down $0.40 at 
$119.00 and October live cattle are down $0.42 123.62. Seeing how boxed beef 
prices close Friday afternoon will be interesting as at midday the market is 
showing both choice and select cuts lower. The cash cattle market hasn't sold 
many cattle this week and there's yet to be any bids renewed as of Friday 
morning. It's looking like this week's business is mostly done with, though a 
little clean-up trade could develop here and there before the weekend.

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.64 ($316.14) and select down 
$2.97 ($292.94) with a movement of 74 loads (39.53 loads of choice, 9.38 loads 
of select, 18.09 loads of trim and 7.22 loads of ground beef).


   It feels like feeder cattle futures only trade adversely to the corn market 
when corn prices are trading lower. As the feeder cattle complex sits back and 
tries to gain a grasp on what's going on in the live cattle, cash cattle and 
corn markets to determine what its own trajectory should be next, a puzzling 
situation presents itself. With corn prices down hard Friday morning, one would 
think feeder cattle contracts would be rallying with joy! But unless the live 
cattle market shows more promising outcomes for fat cattle. It's hard to add 
much pep in your step when cash cattle seem to be topped out at $119 to $120 
amid $6.00 corn. May feeders are down $0.35 at $137.10, August feeders are down 
$0.22 at $150.27 and September feeders are down $0.25 at $151.72.


   Lean hog futures are starting to move lower as traders are not willing to 
support the complex unless a sure sign from either starkly higher pork cutout 
values arises or wildly higher cash hog prices. It's been a mostly 
lower-trending week for the contracts and it's not looking like Friday will 
round out the day any higher than steady at this point. June lean hogs are down 
$0.15 at $109.95, July lean hogs are down $0.05 at $110.05 and August lean hogs 
are up $0.15 at $105.87. Seeing that it's Friday and packers have been running 
extremely light Saturday kills as a shortage of labor continues to be 
troubling, Friday will most likely round out the week without any crazy 

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 5/13/2021 is down $0.01 at $110.93 and 
the actual index for 5/12/2021 is down $0.01 at $110.94. Hog prices are lower 
on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.95 with a weighted average 
of $108.11, ranging from $103.12 to $121.00 on 2,862 head and a five-day 
rolling average of $110.56. Pork cutouts total 204.01 loads with 182.64 loads 
of pork cuts and 21.37 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.21, $116.40.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached shayle.stewart@dtn.com

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