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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments 03/31 06:11

31 Mar 2023
DTN Early Word Livestock Comments 03/31 06:11 Mixed Early Trading Activity Expected Both live cattle and feeder cattle were higher across the board Thursday. Traders found solid footing with feedlots able to see cash trade $4.00 to $5.00 higher. Hogs struggled somewhat throughout the day with most of futures contracts posting gains at the close as traders positioned for the report. Robin Schmahl DTN Contributing Analyst Cattle: Higher Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $207.52 -$0.63* Hogs: Mixed Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $86.06 -$1.47** *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. GENERAL COMMENTS: Traders became more aggressive buyers of cattle futures as cash trading unfolded. Packers could not afford to hold back any longer, paying $4.00 higher for Southern cattle and $5.00 and higher for dressed cattle in the North. This pushed April cattle futures to a new contract high along with December and later contracts. June, August, and October contracts are knocking on the door of new highs. However, boxed beef was lower again with choice down $1.09 and select down $0.44. Slaughter remains active as retail demand is strong. Weekly export sales were not supportive at 11,300 metric tons (mt), down 40% from the previous week, but the market did not care Thursday. Feeder cattle posted triple-digit gains across the board. The April contract is now the front month and closed just shy of $200 yesterday. August and later contracts moved to new contract highs.