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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      03/22 06:14
   Livestock Markets Search for Support

   Live cattle futures closed mixed with some bull-spreading activity as
traders wait for cash trade. Feeder cattle closed higher in response to lower
corn prices. Hogs could not catch a break again Tuesday with futures closing
lower after spending some time in positive territory.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $208.71 -$1.05*

   Hogs: Steady           Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:    $88.80 -$0.12**

   *Based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue.
(The Live Cattle Equiv. Index has been updated to depict recent changes in live
cattle weights and grading percentages.)

   ** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue.


   June and later live cattle contracts made new lows before buyer interest
became more aggressive, bringing April through August contracts back in
positive territory. Bull-spreading was taking place as traders wanted to get in
the market but with limited risk. There was a report that a few cattle traded
$1.00 higher in Iowa, but in general there was no activity. It is difficult to
determine how aggressive packers will be as boxed beef prices were lower
Tuesday with choice down $1.10 and select down $2.39. With some cattle already
purchased for delivery this week and weakness of boxed beef, packers may not be
very aggressive with the potential for cash steady at best. Feeder cattle were
able to close higher in response to the weakness of corn. Feeder cattle prices
at auctions recently have been mixed, depending on the weight categories. March
feeder cattle cease trading next week on Thursday with futures about $1.00
higher than the index.
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