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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          11/16 12:17

   Limit Gains Develop in Hog Futures 

   Prices surged higher with nearby lean hog futures locked in limit gains at 
midday. The widespread support is testing short-term resistance levels, with 
additional potential buyer support likely Monday.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

General Comments

   Cash cattle activity is starting to trickle into the market with a few sales 
holding prices generally $2 per cwt lower than last week. This may spark 
additional support late in the day. Hog futures have surged higher with buyers 
moving prices back above short-term resistance levels Friday morning. Corn 
markets are lower in light trade. December corn futures are 2 cents lower. 
Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 89 points higher while 
Nasdaq is down 30 points.


   Mixed trade is seen through the live cattle complex with very limited 
direction seen through the last half of the week. Traders continue to focus on 
lackluster developments in beef values and cash cattle markets at this point 
late in the week, but this is not breaking down most contract months. Nearby 
futures are holding light to moderate support, while pressure in summer 2019 
contracts is limiting widespread support. Cash cattle trade is starting to 
slowly develop in the North midmorning Friday with a few scattered sales seen 
at $178 dressed basis in Nebraska. This is about $2 per cwt lower than last 
week, but the limited trade seen so far, may not be enough to establish a trend 
for the week at this point. Bids are seen in other areas with bids from $109 to 
$112 live and $176 dressed. The lower end of this live range is seen in the 
South. Asking prices are at $116 to $117 live basis, and $180 dressed. More 
activity is expected to develop through the afternoon. Boxed Beef cut-outs at 
midday are lower, $0.02 lower (select) and down $0.22 per cwt (choice) with 
light movement of 42 total loads reported (24 loads of choice cuts, 6 loads of 
select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 12 loads of ground beef).


   Firm pressure is seen in a very lightly traded feeder cattle complex with 
front month January futures now holding a $1.07 per cwt loss. The expiration of 
November contracts Thursday is now putting more focus on the January contract 
which is trading in a much more consistent pattern with other nearby contracts 
than the previously sluggish November futures. Limited activity is expected to 
be seen through the end of the session with traders allowing late week pressure 
to move back into the complex.


   Sharp gains have quickly flooded through lean hog futures trade Friday 
morning. February and April futures are currently locked in limit higher trade 
of $3 per cwt with spot month December contracts hovering just under that level 
with a $2.97 per cwt rally. If prices are able to hold these levels, expanded 
trader limits will be seen Monday. The focus on firming demand through the end 
of the year and early 2019 has once again gained the attention of late week 
traders. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the National 
Direct morning cash hog report. Cash prices are unreported due to 
confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The 
National Pork Plant Report posted 230 loads selling on the morning report. Pork 
carcass values added $0.32 per cwt at $68.99 per cwt. Lean hog index for 11/14 
is $59.86, down 0.61, with a projected two-day index of $59.10, down 0.76. 

   Rick Kment can be reached at 


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