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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/28 12:03

   Live Cattle Seek Higher Levels

   The cash cattle market is anxiously waiting to trade higher, but so far 
there's been very little interest seen. 

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   Live cattle futures are realizing with consumer demand as robust as it is 
and with boxes jumping higher throughout the week, the futures might as well 
trade higher too! This comes with perfect timing for the cash cattle trade as 
feedlots aspire to see higher prices this week but will need the market's full 
support to do so. December corn is up 3 1/2 cents per bushel and December 
soybean meal is down $4.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 54.78 
points and NASDAQ is up 104.65 points.


   Live cattle contracts are just itching for another good rally to develop in 
Wednesday's market. With boxed beef prices continuing to seek a brisk pace to 
higher prices, the cash cattle market stands an excellent chance at demanding 
higher prices this week. Thus far, there's not been much trade throughout the 
countryside other than a few head in Nebraska which sold for $123.00; but 
before the day is over more trade should develop. Asking prices remain around 
$122-plus in the South and $200-plus in the North. August live cattle are up 
$0.27 at $123.20, October live cattle are up $0.40 at $128.80 and December live 
cattle are up $0.25 at $133.72.

   The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction listed a total of 7,773 head; of that, 1,085 
sold; 181 were scratched from the auction; and 6,507 head were listed as 
unsold, as they did not meet reserve prices which ranged from $119 to $123. 
Opening prices ranged from $115 to $118, high bids ranged from $116 to $120. 
The state-by-state breakdown looks like this: Texas 7,463 total head, with 
1,085 head sold at $119 to $120, 6,197 head unsold and 181 scratched from the 
auction; Kansas 310 total head, all of which went unsold.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.72 ($272.45) and select up $1.57 
($255.51) with a movement of 93 loads (49.06 loads of choice, 18.61 loads 
select, 11.97 loads of trim and 13.10 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle and corn markets have quarreled Wednesday morning as both 
aspire to trade higher. Breaking into Wednesday's trade, the corn market held 
the advantage as the feeder cattle contracts were leery upon corn's advancement 
and upon not having seen any developments being made in the cash cattle market. 
Thankfully Wednesday's midday report showed boxed beef prices were higher once 
again and cattle are starting to sell in Nebraska for $123. Both these factors 
gave feeders the confidence they needed to move the market higher and begin to 
creep toward the resistance at $162.00. August feeders are up $0.10 at $160.80, 
September feeders are up $0.07 at $164.07 and October feeders are up $0.05 at 


   Lean hog futures may have petered out but there's still traction being made 
in the market fundamentals. It's impressive to see packers have already bought 
upward of 6,000 hogs; with supplies being short they wouldn't be aggressively 
chasing the cash hog market if they thought the pork cutout value was going to 
wane lower. August lean hogs are down $0.57 at $106.90, October lean hogs are 
down $1.77 at $90.75 and December lean hogs are down $1.37 at $83.47.

   The projected CME Lean Hog Index for 7/26/2021 is down $0.17 at $112.05 and 
the actual index for 7/23/2021 is up $0.01 at $112.22. Hog prices are unchanged 
from Tuesday on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, thus far there's been 
6,386 head bought with a weighted average of $103.93, ranging anywhere from 
$101.00 to $108.00 and a five-day rolling average of $103.96. Pork cutouts 
total 167.32 loads with 153.17 loads of pork cuts and 14.16 loads of trim. Pork 
cutout values: up $1.69, $125.18.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at

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