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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          04/12 11:43

   Concerns about Consumer Demand Sends the Livestock Complex Lower

   A few more cattle have sold in the north, but largely it's looking like the 
week's cash cattle trade is done with.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The entire livestock complex is trading lower as the market is concerned 
about consumer support amid a stressed economy. A little more trade has 
developed in the northern market, but prices are continuing to trade steady 
with Thursday's decline. May corn is up 5 3/4 cents per bushel and May soybean 
meal is up $6.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 395.84 points.


   Between the week's earlier note of higher inflation in March (March's CPI 
was up 3.5%) to the continued spread of HPAI, the market has taken a downturn 
and is currently trading fully lower into Friday's noon hour. April live cattle 
are down $2.35 at $177.90, June live cattle are down $2.85 at $171.05 and 
August live cattle are down $2.75 at $168.70. Boxed beef prices are higher, 
which is comforting to see, but the market's heaviness from outside pressure 
mixed with slower processing speeds and weaker cash prices is just more than 
traders want to carry ahead of the week's close. It will be important to track 
today's close as the market is currently pressuring last week's support point. 
If the market closes below $172.00 in the spot June contract, downside pressure 
could resume. There's been a thin movement of cattle traded in the northern 
market this morning at $293 to $295 which is steady with Thursday's decline. So 
far this week Southern live cattle have traded at $182 which is $2.00 lower 
than last week's weighted average and Northern dressed cattle have traded at 
$293 to $295 which is $2.00 to $4.00 lower than last week's weighted average.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.07 ($300.44) and select up $1.13 
($296.28) with a movement of 75 loads (52.86 loads of choice, 10.00 loads of 
select, 3.83 loads of trim and 8.20 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex is also trading lower as the market has come up 
empty-handed in the support it yearns for to combat the market's current 
bearishness. Yes, feeder cattle demand is still strong in the countryside and 
supplies are still thin, but the market's technical pressure has taken root in 
the market's core. April feeder cattle are down $1.25 at $237.92, May feeder 
cattle are down $3.62 at $234.52 and August feeder cattle are down $350 at 


   Even the lean hog complex is trading lower into Friday's noon hour as the 
market's concern over consumer support weighs heavily across the lean hog 
complex. June lean hogs are down $3.70 at $102.10, July lean hogs are down 
$3.45 at $104.17 and August lean hogs are down $3.12 at $101.97. The cash 
market's lower tune isn't surprising given that packers were aggressive earlier 
this week, but the slightly lower note in pork cutout values isn't helping the 
market's cause.

   The projected lean hog index for 4/11/2024 is up $0.72 at $90.56, and the 
actual index for 4/10/2024 is up $1.06 at $89.84. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $2.81 with a weighted average price of 
$85.42, ranging from $83.00 to $88.00 on 898 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $87.34. Pork cutouts total 128.92 loads with 120.43 loads of pork 
cuts and 8.49 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.71, $100.58.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at ShayLe.Stewart@dtn.com



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