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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          07/18 11:47

   Northern Feedlots Holding Out for Better Money

   Bids of $310 and $196 are currently being offered for cattle in Nebraska, 
but feedlots are holding out for better money at this point.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex is trading mixed into Thursday's noon hour as the 
cattle contracts are retreating amid some technical uncertainty from traders, 
but the lean hog market is seeing mixed support. No new cash cattle sales have 
been reported, but trade should begin to develop in the North at any time now. 
December corn is down 5 1/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is down 
$0.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 304.86 points.

   Thursday's export report shared that beef net sales of 15,400 mt for 2024 
were up 85% from the previous week and 11% from the prior 4-week average. The 
three largest buyers were China (4,700 mt), Mexico (2,700 mt) and Japan (2,700 
mt). Pork net sales of 23,700 mt for 2024 were down 11% from the previous week 
and 35% from the prior 4-week average. The three largest buyers were Mexico 
(8,500 mt), Japan (3,000 mt) and China (2,800 mt).


   Following Wednesday's higher trade, the live cattle complex is back to 
trading lower as traders seem undecisive in which way they should trade the 
market. Seeing live cattle trade in the Southern plains at $188 on Wednesday 
was a supportive factor, but still no sizeable volume of trade has developed in 
the North. Bids are currently being offered in Nebraska at $310 dressed and 
$196 live, but the market has yet to jump. August live cattle are down $1.97 at 
$182.30, October live cattle are down $2.40 at $183.17 and December live cattle 
are down $2.10 at $185.20. Packer interest should improve throughout the day, 
and it's very likely that the North will trade this afternoon.

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice down $1.20 ($316.96) and select up $0.52 
($298.96) with a movement of 116 loads (74.92 loads of choice, 20.52 loads of 
select, 7.84 loads of trim and 12.52 loads of ground beef).


   The feeder cattle complex has also taken on a weaker front as the market is 
currently trading $2.00 lower across the entire complex. August feeders are 
down $2.15 at $256.40, September feeders are down $2.27 at $257.17 and October 
feeders are down $2.22 at $257.17. Today's downward trend seems to be being 
technically driven as traders remain hesitant and some could even say overly 
cautious as the market's fundamentals haven't change since Wednesday's close.


   The lean hog complex is attempting to maintain some of its higher tone as 
the market is trading mixed into Thursday's noon hour. August lean hogs are 
down $0.17 at $91.47, October lean hogs are up $0.12 at $73.80 and December 
lean hogs are down $0.45 at $65.42. The market is again thankful to see higher 
midday pork cutout values and isn't alarmed at seeing slightly lower demand in 
the cash sector as packers were aggressive earlier this week which typically 
leads to less cash interest later on. Traders would have ideally liked to see 
better sales in the morning's export report, but with midday pork cutout values 
higher traders are shaking off the lower sales.

   The projected lean hog index for 7/17/2024 is up $0.47 at $89.27 and the 
actual index for 7/16/2024 is up $0.18 at $88.80. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.96 with a weighted average price of 
$82.80, ranging from $79.00 to $87.00 on 1,365 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $84.13. Pork cutouts total 196.38 loads with 164.19 loads of pork 
cuts and 32.18 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $0.90, $100.22.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached


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