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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      03/21 06:15
   Traders Unable to Find Solid Support

   One had to look far into the future to see any positive prices in the
livestock complex. The rest of the contracts closed under pressure. Cattle
traded the neutrality of the report last Friday, leaving futures struggling.
Hogs reacted to lower cash and cutouts on Friday, leaving the market under

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $209.76 -$0.83*

   Hogs: Higher           Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:    $88.92 +$0.69**

   *Based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue.
(The Live Cattle Equiv. 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.


   There had been some expectation cattle would trade higher Monday after the
numbers on the Cattle on Feed report showed a significant decline compared to
last year. However, the report was anticipated, resulting in disappointing
trading activity as the day progressed. With mixed showlists this week and a
fair percentage of cattle purchased last week for deferred delivery, even
though cash was $1.00 lower, it puts packers in a stronger position. The
discount of futures to cash seems to indicate traders think cash will be at
best steady or possibly lower again this week. Boxed beef prices were mixed
with choice down $2.33 and select up $1.50. Feeder cattle follow a similar
pattern as live cattle did, closing lower in contracts through October.
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