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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          01/26 11:42

   Strong Exports Help Boost the Morale for Lean Hogs

   Heading into Thursday's afternoon, all eyes and ears will be keyed into the 
cash cattle market to see if cattle trade in the afternoon.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The cattle contracts are trading lower into Thursday's afternoon as 
cattlemen note the uptick in corn prices and anxiously wait to see what this 
week's cash cattle market does. The lean hog complex is trading higher as the 
market is thankful for the additional demand via exports and hopes that pork 
cutout values again close higher. March corn is up 5 3/4 cents per bushel and 
March soybean meal is up $8.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 58.92 


   As the live cattle market heads into Thursday's afternoon, feedlots are 
being strategically patient in waiting to trade cattle this week. The futures 
complex is trading slightly lower as the market is chomping at the bit to see 
how prices fare this week in the cash market, but thus far, feedlots seem 
uncompelled to let cattle trade at the bid prices being offered. Bids of $153 
live and $245 to $246 dressed care being offered in Nebraska, and bids of $246 
are noted in Iowa, but otherwise, the market sits idly. Bids and packer 
interest is expected to intensify later Thursday afternoon. February live 
cattle are down $0.47 at $157.12, April live cattle are down $0.55 at $161.00 
and June live cattle are down $0.40 at $157.80.

   Beef net sales of 25,100 mt for 2023 were primarily for South Korea (10,00 
mt), Japan (4,400 mt) and China (4,200 mt).

   Boxed beef prices are mixed: choice up $0.23 ($268.51) and select down $0.15 
($251.65) with a movement of 61 loads (36.19 loads of choice, 12.32 loads of 
select, 3.02 loads of trim and 9.86 loads of ground beef).


   With corn prices fronting a $0.01 to $0.06 rally into Thursday's afternoon, 
it comes as no surprise that the feeder cattle complex is under pressure. March 
feeders are down $0.45 at $183.30, April feeders are down $0.82 at $187.52 and 
May feeders are down $0.92 at $191.65. The cash cattle market is seeing bids 
develop, but there hasn't been a big movement of cattle yet to speak of. If 
cash cattle trade at least steady, that will be a positive win in feeder's eyes.


   With strong export sales to start the day off on the right foot, the lean 
hog complex has been rallying into Thursday's noon hour from the get-go. It's 
not surprising to see cash hog prices lower as packers were aggressive in the 
cash market early this week. However, the market is seeing support as pork 
cutouts are higher. It's too early to say whether or not afternoon pork cutout 
values will close higher or not, but if the do the market stands an excellent 
chance at rallying into Friday as support has been ample throughout Thursday's 
trade. February lean hogs are up $0.37 at $77.17, April lean hogs are up $1.82 
at $87.15 and June lean hogs are up $1.40 at $103.15.

   The projected lean hog index for Jan. 25 is up $0.20 at $72.52 and the 
actual index for Jan. 24 is up $0.22 at $72.32. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.94 with a weighted average of $70.33, 
ranging from $67.00 to $72.50 on 3,858 head and a five-day rolling average of 
$71.04. Pork cutouts total 134.64 loads with 118.40 loads of pork cuts and 
16.24 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: up $2.74, $81.85.

   Pork net sales of 44,700 mt for 2023 were primarily for Mexico (17,700 mt), 
China (12,500 mt) and Japan (3,700 mt).

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached

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