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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      01/26 06:03
   Export Sales to Set Direction

   Most livestock futures contracts were higher with pressure only on nearby
live cattle and hogs. Traders are waiting for cash trade but with a bias to the
upside. Hogs struggle to find support.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady         Futures: Lower     Live Equiv:   $199.49 -$0.75*

   Hogs: Higher           Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:   $86.92 -$0.95**

   *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.


   Cash has not yet traded this week which is not surprising. Feedlots have put
out offers only in the South with Northern offers anticipated to be higher.
Packers have not yet tipped their hand with bids. With weakening boxed beef
prices, packers will not want to purchase at higher prices than last week.
Boxed beef showed choice down $1.36 and select down $0.59. Cattle futures have
been regaining some of the recent losses supported by lower cattle numbers and
the projection for tightening supply. Of course, the potential for cattle
prices will be up to demand. The December Cold Storage report showed total beef
in storage at 544.0 billion pounds and 7% above a year ago. Inventory increased
4% from November as slaughter remained strong. Weekly exports sales will
provide early market direction. Today is the final day to trade January feeder
cattle futures and options.
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