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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          02/19 12:03

   Still Rolling Higher 

   Livestock contracts are ambitious to trade higher yet again Wednesday and 
are so far successfully doing so. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   Live cattle contracts have dipped here and there throughout the morning, but 
the rest of the market seems pretty firm in the decision to trade higher. March 
corn is down 2 3/4 cents per bushel and March soybean meal is up $0.50. The Dow 
Jones Industrial Average is up 162.09 points and NASDAQ is up 92.72 points.

   LIVE CATTLE 

   Live cattle prices have tested both sides of steady Wednesday morning but as 
the noon hour approaches the market leans toward trading higher. Nearby 
contracts still more than deferred but are only slightly lower. February live 
cattle are down $0.12 at $121.30, April live cattle are down $0.07 at $120.52 
and June live cattle are down $0.07 at $112.12. Wednesday morning at the Fed 
Cattle Exchange there was 422 head of cattle consigned, consisting of three 
lots (one in Texas and two in Kansas). Asking prices ranged from $119 to $121. 
The one lot in Texas was bid at $119.75, but that offer was passed. The lots in 
Kansas did not sell. The rest of cattle country remains quiet with bids still 
hard to come by. Asking prices of $122 have been set in the South, and dressed 
cattle are priced in the North for $195 to $197. It isn't likely that trade 
really develops until later in the week. 

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.14 ($205.99) and select is down 
$0.50 ($203.23) with a movement of 100 loads (59.53 loads of choice, 13.38 
loads of select, 2.77 loads of trim and 23.83 loads of ground beef). 

   FEEDER CATTLE 

   Feeder cattle prices tested the waters Wednesday morning and were lower for 
a short time but have since circled back to trading higher. March feeders are 
up $1.22 at $140.50, April feeders are up $0.80 at $142.57 and May feeders are 
up $0.42 at $144.20. The market continues to put a bottom in the latest 
downfall's trend and slow but surely prices are making their way higher. 

   LEAN HOGS 

   Cash hog prices were softer Wednesday morning but that could be due to the 
fact that packers are starting to back off on their aggressive kill schedule. 
Cattle contracts bobbled a little Wednesday morning, but the lean hog market 
has kept prices driving higher and most contracts are exceeding gains of over 
$1.00. April lean hogs are up $1.42 at $66.92, May lean hogs are up $1.72 at 
$75.27 and June lean hogs are up $1.60 at $82.97. The weaker cash prices most 
likely won't affect the board's vigor as trade is reluctantly trading higher 
and interest continues to grow. 

   The projected lean hog index for 2/18/2020 is down $0.12 at $55.54, and the 
actual index for 2/17/2020 is down $0.31 at $55.66. Hog prices are lower on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.83 with a weighted average of 
$48.79, ranging from $45.00 to $50.34 on 4,500 head sold and five-day rolling 
average of $49.75. Pork cutouts total 176.56 loads with 143.62 loads of pork 
cuts and 32.93 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $1.73, $63.28. 

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


(CZ)

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