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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/18 12:15

   Lean Hog Futures Struggle with Triple-Digit Losses at Midday

   Hog futures are sharply lower near the top of the noon hour, pressured by 
long liquidation and commercial selling. At the same time, the cattle complex 
is narrowly mixed in the live trade and moderately lower in the feeder market. 

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst


   Feedlot country is as quiet as a church library. It looks like the cash 
trade is done for the week. According to the noon report, the national hog base 
is not reportable due to rules of confidentiality. Corn futures near midday are 
sharply higher with July and September up by 7 cents plus. Some of the corn 
support could be tied to the rumors about possible trade deals with China that 
include the elimination of anti-dumping fees imposed on U.S. grain sorghum. The 
stock market at midday is mixed with the Dow up 11 points and the Nasdaq down 
by 12. 


   The action here near midday is very slow with neither side showing much 
energy. Prices are narrowly mixed, up 2 to off 17. Traders are wondering if 
board discounts are finally adequate, but suggestions that discounts are 
overdone vis--vis early summer vulnerability are still looking for a champion. 
Beef cut-outs are mixed at midday, up 0.42 (select, $208.66) to off 0.06 
(choice, $232.62) with light to moderate box movement (41 loads of choice cuts, 
16 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of coarse grinds).


   Feeder issues are moderately lower at midday, off 37 to 90. Besides the 
discount of deferred live contracts, would be defenders of this market are 
further bothered today but new highs in the corn market. 


   Lean hog futures are sharply lower as we move into the final hour of the 
trading week (i.e., off 92 to 195). Commercial sellers are pressing premiums, 
worried that appreciating pork demand cannot be sustained enough through the 
second quarter to justify current board price levels. Curiously, while rumors 
of better U.S./China relations are helping the grain trade, they are falling on 
deaf ears here. Carcass value is quoted sharply lower at midday, pressured by 
softer demand for all primals. Pork cut-out: $73.83, off $1.67. CME cash lean 
index for 05/16: 67.01, up 0.87 (DTN Projected lean index for 05/17: 67.74, up 

   John A. Harrington can be reached at 


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