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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/31 11:39

   Cattlemen Anxious for Tuesday's Cattle Inventory Report

   The market's focus Tuesday afternoon with the Cattle Inventory report.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is trading mixed into Tuesday's afternoon with both 
the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts trading mostly higher as traders 
anticipate a support Cattle Inventory report Tuesday afternoon, but the lean 
hog market is again trading lower. March corn is up 3/4 cent per bushel and 
March soybean meal is down $4.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 144.20 


   The live cattle complex is trading hesitantly as the market braces for 
Tuesday afternoon's Cattle Inventory report. After charging to new contract 
highs throughout Monday's market, traders are seeming to hold their breath 
until Tuesday afternoon's report is unveiled. The question isn't whether or not 
the report will be favorable to the market, but rather just how favorable the 
report will be. There's a strong likelihood that the report shares that the 
U.S. beef cowherd is the smallest on record; at which point the market will 
likely storm higher. February live cattle are up $0.10 at $158.85, April live 
cattle are down $0.35 at $163.00 and June live cattle are down $0.32 at 
$159.15. The cash cattle market won't likely trade until late Thursday or 
Friday of this week. Asking prices in the South are noted at $158-plus but are 
still unestablished in the North.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.52 ($266.58) and select up $1.54 
($253.06) with a movement of 66 loads (53.17 loads of choice, 7.42 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 5.78 loads of ground beef).


   Despite the fact that the corn complex is posting a mild rally into 
Tuesday's noon hour, the feeder cattle market is charging full steam ahead into 
the day's afternoon as it anxiously awaits the Cattle Inventory report. With 
the spot March contract gapping higher at Tuesday's start, it's safe to assume 
that traders are coming to terms with the market's bullish fundamental outlook. 
The question that remains on everyone's mind leading up to the report's reveal 
is: How high is this bullish train going to run? March feeders are up $1.75 at 
$185.72, April feeders are up $1.42 at $189.70 and May feeders are up $1.07 at 


   Even though the lean hog complex closed higher Monday afternoon, the market 
is trading modestly lower into Tuesday's noon hour as the cattle contracts are 
keeping traders busy. February lean hogs are down $0.25 at $74.90, April lean 
hogs are down $0.25 at $86.27 and June lean hogs are down $0.30 at $102.85. It 
is important to note that both cash prices and pork cutout values are higher at 
noon, which could potentially mean that the market's fundamentals stand a 
chance at closing higher as well.

   The projected lean hog index is delayed from the source. Hog prices are 
higher on the Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.08 with a weighted average 
of $70.33, ranging from $70.00 to $73.00 on 4,297 head with a five-day rolling 
average of $71.05. Pork cutouts total 154.09 loads with 140.80 loads of pork 
cuts and 13.29 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $2.84, $83.12.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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