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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/26 11:49

   Cattle Contracts Find Technical Support 

   After trading lower throughout the earlier part of the week, cattle futures 
have finally found some technical support to help rally the contracts in 
Wednesday's trade. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Cattle futures are finally seeing some support from traders after a tough 
start to the week. Meanwhile, after an exhilarating day of trade , Tuesday, the 
lean hog complex is chopping sideways. March corn is up 3/4 cent per bushel and 
March soybean meal is up $7.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 363.84 
points and NASDAQ is up 329.68 points.


   Boxed beef prices are pulling back for the second day in a row, which points 
to the conclusion that boxes are topping. As packers take note of the boxed 
beef market, they've also cut into the cash market and been able to buy cattle 
in Kansas for $136, which is $1.00 lower than Tuesday's trade and $1.00 lower 
than last week's average. Throughout the week Southern live cattle have traded 
at mostly $137 and Northern dressed trade has taken place at $218. While it's 
frustrating to see the lower trend in the cash market, hopefully the support 
that's building in Wednesday's futures complex keeps the market from dipping 
much lower. February live cattle are up $0.90 at $138.00, April live cattle are 
up $1.70 at $141.80 and June live cattle are up $1.47 at $136.90. It's likely 
boxes will indeed close lower by the afternoon, which will be important to 
monitor. But equally as important is noting how the day's slaughter performs. 
The pullback in boxes is normal for this time of year.

   The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 2,904 head (Texas 1,438 
head, Kansas 987 head, Iowa 203 head, Nebraska 120 head, Oklahoma 121 head, 
California 35 head), all of which went unsold, as they did not meet the reserve 
prices, which ranged from $130 to $138.50. Opening prices ranged from $125 to 
$136.50, high bids ranged from $130 to $138.50. Another auction is scheduled 
for Thursday.

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $0.88 ($291.50) and select down 
$1.23 ($282.09) with a movement of 73 loads (44.99 loads of choice, 8.59 loads 
of select, 5.03 loads of trim and 14.35 loads of ground beef).


   After dropping below the 100-day moving average in the March contract, the 
feeder cattle contract seems to be finding support. Even though the corn market 
is posting a mild rally, the entire feeder cattle complex is trading higher. 
March feeders are up $1.05 at $160.90, April feeders are up $0.80 at $166.00 
and May feeders are up $0.62 at $169.82. It's helping that the live cattle 
market is also trading confidently into Wednesday afternoon. And even though 
the cash cattle market is only trading steady with last week, it does come as a 
sigh of relief to see processing speeds inching higher to 118,000 head.


   After an exciting rally earlier in the week, the lean hog complex is 
chopping sideways through Wednesday's trade. February lean hogs are down $0.45 
at $87.00, April lean hogs are down $0.92 at $96.30 and June lean hogs are down 
$0.15 at $106.42. After an exhilarating day of stronger trade and then hearing 
the news that Prop 12 rules won't be enforced until six months after the rules 
are finalized, the lean hog market seems to be coasting through Wednesday and 
catching its breath.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 1/25/2022 is up $0.75 at $79.20 and the 
actual index for 1/24/2022 is up $0.13 at $78.45. Hog prices are higher on the 
National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $1.56 with a weighted average of $62.81, 
ranging from $61.00 to $77.00 on 2,765 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$61.48. Pork cutouts total 177.85 loads with 164.18 loads of pork cuts and 
13.67 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $3.42, $95.88.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at

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