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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      04/19 06:13
   Choppy Trade Ahead of Cattle on Feed Report

   Cattle futures held up surprisingly well despite the further weakness of
boxed beef and the upcoming Cattle on Feed report this afternoon. Hogs closed
mostly lower on Thursday but held up surprisingly well with earlier pressure
subsiding into the close.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Lower         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $219.02 -$0.84*

   Hogs: Higher         Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:   $105.93 +$0.41**

   *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:

   Packers and feedlots are holding out with each one hoping the other will
blink first. The expectations are for cash to trade lower as the packers seem
to be in a better position and may not need to be aggressive. With the Cattle
on Feed report looming today, it is unlikely futures will see much movement one
way or the other. The report tends to show surprises that impact the market.
The trade estimates are for On-feed numbers on April 1st at 102% of a year ago.
Placements in March are expected at 92.1% with marketings at 88.2% of a year
ago. 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%. Boxed
beef prices showed further weakness with choice down $1.10 and select down
$1.61.
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