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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          03/05 11:57

   Lean Hog Futures Slump Lower at Midday

   Lean hog futures are under pressure in late-morning business, checked by 
profit taking and uncertain fundamentals. On the other hand, action if the 
cattle complex is uneven with prices mixed in the live pit and mostly higher in 
the feeder market. 

By John Harrington
DTN Analyst


   Packer inquiry in cattle feeding country is generally light with scattered 
bids of $157 in the South and $250-254 in the North. Asking prices remain firm 
around $162 in the South and $255-260 in the North. According to the midday 
report, the Iowa hog base is 0.41 lower compared with the prior day's closing 
weighted averaged ($55.00-65.05, $64.48). Corn futures near midday are narrowly 
mixed in light trade volume. The stock market is modestly higher near the top 
of the noon hour, breaking a two-day decline with a boost from details on 
quantitative easing in the euro zone, ahead of Friday's jobs report. The Dow is 
30 points higher with the Nasdaq positive by 12. 


   Mixed, up 15 to off 57. Live futures are mixed at midday in slow trade 
volume. The uneven tone seems tied to a combination of residual buying and 
profit taking. Here seems to be nervousness on both sides prior to the 
development of cash business. Beef cut-outs are higher at midday, up .23 
(select, $247.46) to 0.33 (choice, $248.91) with light to moderate box movement 
(59 loads of choice cuts, 13 loads of select cuts, five loads of trimmings, 23 
loads of ground beef).


   Mostly 25 to 112 higher. Although spot March is currently 22 points lower, 
checked by the discount of the cash index, most feeder contracts are extending 
gains scored on Wednesday. The pit is supported by follow-through buying and 
better commercial buying interest. 


   Off 22 to 145. The lean pit is giving back much of yesterday's rally at 
midday. Summer contracts are especially getting clobbered with triple digit 
losses. We're hearing more talk about supply worries, ideas that tonnage 
through te entire year could be compounded by both higher slaughter rates and 
heavier carcass weights. Carcass value at midday is under pressure with all 
primals struggling with softer demand except the picnic. Pork cut-out: $68.49, 
off $1.49. CME cash lean 03/03: 67.73, up 1.06 (DTN Projected lean index for 
03/04: 68.09, up 0.36).

   John Harrington can be reached at 
Follow John Harrington on Twitter @feelofthemarket


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