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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          12/12 12:00

   Cattle Contracts Trade Lower, Lean Hog Contracts Look Higher

   Trump's positive remarks of a fruitful outcome about the phase one trade 
agreement has the lean hog complex ready to trade higher. 

By ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst

General Comments

   Cattle contracts have stepped aside while the lean hog complex looks to take 
the show. March corn is up 5 1/2 cents per bushel and January soybean meal is 
down $1.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 64.02 points and NASDAQ is 
up 4.91 points. 


   Wednesday's excitement has dried up and moved over to the lean hog market 
with live cattle and feeder cattle contracts to trade lower. December live 
cattle are down $0.37 at $120.20, February feeder cattle are down $0.40 at 
$124.92 and April live cattle are up $0.12 at $126.00. The cash market remains 
quiet as packers want to see if the board is going to dip any lower, which may 
pull the country's psychology down as well. Meanwhile, feeders are holding 
their breath hoping that the board perks up by Friday. A few bids have popped 
up in Texas and Kansas at $118, lower than last week's weighted average and 
lower than asking prices. 

   Boxed beef prices are lower: choice down $2.05 ($216.61) and select down 
$0.48 ($203.24) with a movement of 114 loads (86.15 loads of choice, 13.47 
loads of select, 0 loads of trim and 14.03 loads of ground beef). 


   Feeder cattle contracts continue to trade sideways, then slightly up, then 
they dip lower. Realistically this may be the majority of the trade the next 
couple of weeks until 2020 offers new opportunity. January feeder cattle are 
down $0.67 at $142.10, March feeders are down $0.65 at $143.02 and April 
feeders are down $0.30 at $145.17. Trading slightly higher than the 100-day 
moving average ($141.40), but still traipsing lower than the 40-day moving 
average ($144.57). 


   It appears the back and forth woes of hearing about the phase one trade 
agreement will never end. Though the lean hog market has heard about all it can 
take from the undecisive nature of the arrangement, President Trump tweeted 
Thursday morning, "Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it 
and so do we!" Regardless if this is the final leg of the race before the 
finish line is reached or not, the lean hog complex took it for it was worth 
and ran with the excitement Thursday morning.  December lean hogs are up $0.17 
at $60.87, February lean hogs are up $1.17 at $68.90 and April lean hogs are up 
$0.52 at $74.77. 

   The projected lean hog index for 12/11/19 is up $0.26 at $59.72, and the 
actual lean hog index for 12/10/19 is up $0.99 at $59.46. Hog prices are higher 
on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.52 with a weighted average of 
$48.57, ranging from $42.00 to $49.75 on 5,836 hogs sold and a five-day rolling 
average of $47.43. Pork cutouts total 145.36 loads with 123.83 loads of pork 
cuts and 21.53 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $1.53 at $81.66. 

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached shayle.stewart@dtn.com 


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