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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments 05/18 06:16

18 May 2023
DTN Early Word Livestock Comments 05/18 06:16 Trader Uncertainty Prevails Live cattle showed some spread trading Wednesday with nearby contracts closing higher on the prospects of steady cash. Feeder cattle could not find support from the fall of corn. Hogs plummeted as two days of strength were viewed as a selling opportunity. Robin Schmahl DTN Contributing Analyst Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $220.24 -$0.98* Hogs: Lower Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $90.10 -$0.68** *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: Live cattle struggled for a while Wednesday until there was some light cash trade. The cash trade was very light and did not provide a good indication of what may transpire Thursday. A few cattle traded in Texas at steady cash with last week. However, a few cattle traded in Kansas at $6.00 higher. Some activity in the North traded steady with last week. The odds are cash may trade steady overall, which was likely the reason nearby live cattle contracts closed higher. Boxed beef prices were lower with choice down $1.32 and select down $1.46. This could be an anchor that may subdue the strength of cash this week. Traders are also looking ahead to the Cattle on Feed report to be released Friday. Estimates are for on-feed numbers on May 1 at 96.5%; placements in April at 96.4%; and marketings in April at 90.2%. Feeder cattle futures pushed higher to match contract highs or make new highs, but could not hold into the close, finishing the day lower despite the large decline of corn futures.