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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          05/17 11:41

   Feedlots Hold Out for More Money

   Bids are on the table, but if packers wish to get any cattle bought this 
week, they'll have to up the ante this afternoon in order to get the cattle 
they need purchased.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cattle complex is continuing to trade higher as traders love seeing the 
support of stronger boxed beef prices and are empowered to see the cash cattle 
market fighting for higher prices. Still no cash cattle trade has developed, 
but bids are on the table. July corn is down 5 1/2 cents per bushel and July 
soybean meal is up $0.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 28.27 points.


   The live cattle market continues to see powerful fundamentals at play which 
is why feedlots have elected to hold out for better cash cattle prices and why 
traders feel confident advancing the market outside of its sideways trading 
range. June live cattle are up $1.12 at $180.12, August live cattle are up 
$0.77 at $178.15 and October live cattle are up $0.72 at $181.35. If the spot 
August contract is able to close at this level, traders accomplished quite a 
feat as the market hasn't traded at this price point since April 1. Bids are on 
the table, but feedlots aren't willing to accept packer's current offers as 
they want more money and know that if they want to advance the cash cattle 
market, now is the time to do so as the dog days of summer will be here before 
we know it. Currently, bids of $182 to $185 are being offered in Kansas, bids 
of $182 are being offered in Texas and bids of $187 live and $289 dressed are 
being offered in Nebraska. But feedlots are holding firm to their asking price 
of $187 plus in the South and $300 in the North. Trade will likely develop this 
afternoon, and at this point, it's looking like packers are going to have to 
pay up if they indeed wish to get cattle bought. 

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $3.38 ($313.53) and select up $1.58 
($298.09) with a movement of 62 loads (47.55 loads of choice, 4.52 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 9.93 loads of ground beef).


   The cattle market's fundamentals are ripe and strong heading into Friday's 
noon hour which is why traders are confidently advancing the feeder cattle 
contracts ahead of the week's end. No cash cattle trade has developed yet, but 
feedlots seem fully committed to getting higher cash prices as they continue to 
note the increase in boxed beef prices. This strong fundamental change from 
last week's lagging boxed beef market has helped empower the feeder cattle 
complex too as traders were worried about the market running out of steam. May 
feeders are up $0.82 at $245.67, August feeders are up $1.72 at $259.07 and 
September feeders are up $1.70 at $260.10.


   The lean hog complex isn't seeing the same level of support that the cattle 
market is as its contracts are all trading fully lower in Friday afternoon. 
With pork cutout values closing lower Wednesday afternoon and the cash hog 
market not accomplishing much throughout the week -- traders are left with 
little good news to cling to and find it a safe position to trade the market 
lower. June lean hogs are down $2.07 at $96.30, July lean hogs are down $1.77 
at $99.85 and August lean hogs are down $1.60 at $99.20. 

   The projected lean hog index for 5/16/2024 is up $0.16 at $92.29 and the 
actual index for 5/15/2024 is up $0.37 at $92.13. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.58 with a weighted average price of 
$88.78, ranging from $88.00 to $90.00 on 1,229 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $89.00. Pork cutouts total 236.64 loads with 193.45 loads of pork 
cuts and 43.18 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.22, $100.49.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached at



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