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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/29 11:47

   Weaker Tones Settle Into Livestock Complex Wednesday 

   As cattlemen and traders both wait for the cash cattle market to start up, 
the futures complex has changed direction and is lower as it waits for 
fundamental direction. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex has slowed down as both the live cattle and feeder 
cattle futures are lower and lean hog futures are mixed. The cattle complex is 
looking for substantial fundamental support before traders are willing or 
confident to advance the market much more. July corn is down 6 1/2 cents per 
bushel and July soybean meal is down $6.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 
down 341.32 points.


   The live cattle complex seems to be creating a new sideways trading range as 
the market patiently waits for something positive to develop. Yes, boxed beef 
demand is mixed and there's the expectation that cash cattle sales will trade 
at least steady again this week if not a little higher. But for Wednesday and 
at this exact moment, traders haven't come by the support they're longing for. 
June live cattle are down $1.12 at $183.45, August live cattle are down $1.42 
at $180.40 and October live cattle are down $1.60 at $182.80. No cash cattle 
trade has developed at this point and it's likely the week's action again will 
be delayed until Thursday or Friday. No bids or asking prices have been noted 

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $1.71 ($313.83) and select down $0.89 
($302.54) with a movement of 67 loads (39.73 loads of choice, 10.58 loads of 
select, 5.29 loads of trim and 11.36 loads of ground beef).


   Even the rallying and robust feeder cattle complex is trading lower into 
Wednesday's noon hour as the market lacks sufficient support to keep trading 
higher. It's likely traders are wrestling with the findings of Tuesday's Crop 
Progress report as USDA shared that 83% of the corn crop was planted by May 26, 
which is just slightly ahead of the market's 5-year average, but not as high as 
traders had hoped. Nevertheless, the feeder cattle complex is virtually giving 
back all the position it earned through Tuesday's trade. August feeders are 
down $3.60 at $261.00, September feeders are down $3.22 at $262.47 and October 
feeders are down $2.92 at $263.32.


   The lean hog complex is mixed as traders have noted that pork cutout values 
closed slightly higher Tuesday afternoon, but aren't willing to advance the 
market wildly as they'd like to see more consistent support before doing so. 
And midday pork cutout values are lower again. June lean hogs are up $0.07 at 
$93.87, July lean hogs are up $0.10 at $96.62 and August lean hogs are steady 
at $96.10. If afternoon pork cutout values close lower, it's likely nearby 
contracts will lose their higher tone when Thursday's market opens unless 
export demand is riveting.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 5/28/2024 is down $0.47 at $90.79, and 
the actual index for 5/24/2024 is down $0.37 at $91.26. Hog prices on the Daily 
Direct Morning Hog Report average $87.64, ranging from $84.00 to $89.50 on 
1,789 head and a five-day rolling average of $87.39. Pork cutouts total 171.25 
loads with 144.94 loads of pork cuts and 26.31 loads of trim. Pork cutout 
values: down $0.92, $102.48.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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