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  Thursday, April 18, 2024   
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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      04/17 06:23
   Another Day of Gains in Cattle Futures is Uncertain

   Cattle futures continued higher Tuesday on further short-covering and
renewed buying interest. Hog futures could not hold the strong gains seen
during the day, posting only slight gains into the close.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Lower         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $220.86 -$1.16*

   Hogs: Higher         Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:   $105.52 -$4.05**

   *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:

   There was no movement of cash cattle Tuesday, which was not responsible for
moving the market higher. Boxed beef showed nothing to get excited about with
prices mixed. Choice cuts fell $2.86 while select cuts increased $1.30. It
seemed short-covering and increased buyer interest supported futures for a
second consecutive day. Futures may begin to chop sideways as traders begin to
look ahead to the upcoming Cattle on Feed report Friday. The trade estimates
for placements have a much narrower range of expectations than the past few
reports with a range of 89.3% to 94.7% of year ago. With packers having
purchased some cattle for deferred delivery last week, it is anticipated cash
may again be lower this week.
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