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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      07/18 06:20
   Cash Cattle Trade Steady

   Live cattle futures were higher as the potential of lower cash for the week
dissipated as cattle were traded in the South at steady money. Feeder cattle
futures posted moderate gains except for the August contract. Hog futures
showed another day of gains as the market corrected from being oversold.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady         Futures: Mixed       Live Equiv: $231.88 -$1.20*

   Hogs: Lower           Futures: Mixed       Lean Equiv: $105.23 -$1.55**

   *Based on the formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer
revenue. (The Live Cattle Equiv. The index has been updated to depict recent
changes in live cattle weights and grading percentages.)

   ** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue.


   Cash cattle trade was not anticipated until late in the week. Packers needed
cattle and they paid steady money in the South. This is unusual during the week
of the Cattle on Feed report. Feedlots were anxious to move cattle and packers
wanted to buy them. It was expected cash would trade lower due to the weakness
of boxed beef. There are expectations Northern dressed cattle will trade
higher. Boxed beef prices closed lower with choice cuts down $1.10 and select
down $3.15. This moves the select price below $300 to $298.44 on Wednesday.
Traders may position themselves ahead of the Cattle on Feed report released on
Friday. After all, the report is notorious for surprises. The estimates are for
cattle on feed July 1 to be 101.2% compared to a year ago. Placements in June
are estimated at 97.0% with cattle marketed in June at 91.8%.
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