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DTN Midday Livestock Comments          10/02 11:26

   Cattle Trade Higher, Relieved That Government Shutdown Averted

   It's a mixed marketplace for the livestock complex as cattle celebrate the 
fact that we aren't dealing with a government shutdown Monday, but the lean hog 
complex continues to trade lower as it needs fundamental support.

ShayLe Stewart
DTN Livestock Analyst


   The livestock complex continues to trade mixed into Monday's afternoon as 
the cattle contracts are celebrating the fact that the government was able to 
avoid a shutdown, while the lean hog market continues to struggle with 
fundamental support and the mixed messaging that came from last week's 
Quarterly report. December corn is up 9 cents per bushel and December soybean 
meal is down $7.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 207.35 points.


   The live cattle contracts are back to trading higher as traders sigh a 
breath of relief that the government was able to avoid a shutdown. But, even 
with the contracts now pushing for higher prices, there's a lot at stake for 
this week's market in regard to fundamentals. Last week, packers were able to 
not only keep cash cattle prices from advancing, but they also cut last week's 
slaughter to a mere 612,000 head. Feedlots need to maintain currentness, all 
while battling to keep cash cattle prices as strong as possible. It's a 
balancing walk to manage and it will be interesting to see how feedlots manage 
that task this week. October live cattle are up $1.07 at $185.27, December live 
cattle are up $1.20 at $189.12 and February live cattle are up $1.42 at $193.92.

   Last week, Northern dressed cattle sold for $288 to $293, but mostly at $290 
to $291, which is $1.00 to $2.00 lower than the previous week's weighted 
average. Southern live cattle traded at $182 to $183, but mostly at $183, which 
is fully steady with the previous week's weighted average. Last week's 
negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 73,514 head. Of that 80% (58,802 head) 
were committed to the nearby delivery while the remaining 20% (14,712 head) 
were committed to the deferred delivery.

   Boxed beef prices are higher: choice up $2.15 ($302.93) and select up $2.87 
($278.91) with a movement of 42 loads (20.92 loads of choice, 14.27 loads of 
select, zero loads of trim and 7.08 loads of ground beef).


   Even though corn prices are sporting a moderate $0.10 rally into Monday's 
noon hour, the feeder cattle contracts don't seem affected at this point as 
traders are just relieved to see that the government shutdown was avoided, and 
the live cattle complex is lending support as well with its higher tone. 
October feeders are up $1.05 at $253.52, November feeders are up $1.75 at 
$256.65 and January feeders are up $2.25 at $260.30. It will be especially 
interesting to see how feeder cattle sales fare this week as the fall runs are 
getting bigger in size.


   The less than supportive news in last week's Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report 
mixed with the lackadaisical support from the market's fundamentals isn't 
allowing for the lean hog market to do anything but trade lower. October lean 
hogs are down $0.35 at $79.85, December lean hogs are down $2.20 at $69.57 and 
February lean hogs are down $1.45 at $74.00. The spot December contract gapped 
lower this morning and is seeming to be looking for a new bottom in the 
market's current trading range as pressure continues to mound.

   The projected lean hog index for Sept. 29 is down $0.74 at $84.84, and the 
actual index for Sept. 28 is down $0.56 at $85.58. Hog prices are lower on the 
Daily Direct Morning Hog Report, down $1.98 with a weighted average price of 
$72.37, ranging from $69.00 to $75.00 on 158 head and a five-day rolling 
average of $76.11. Pork cutouts total 134.40 loads with 119.89 loads of pork 
cuts and 14.50 loads of trim. Pork cutout values: down $0.10, $97.13.

   ShayLe Stewart can be reached shayle.stewart@dtn.com

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