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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      05/17 06:20
   Higher Cash Cattle Trade Expected Friday

   The livestock complex was higher across the board Thursday. Live cattle
opened higher and remained higher throughout the day as anticipation for higher
cash trade increased. Hogs began lower then found strong buying interest even
though it seemed there was not much support.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Higher           Futures: Higher    Live Equiv: $226.65 +$1.97*

   Hogs: Higher             Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv: $106.09 -$1.43**

   *Based on the formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer
revenue. (The Live Cattle Equiv. The 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.


   Feeder cattle outpaced live cattle with mostly triple-digit gains Thursday.
Optimism seems to have surfaced in the market as boxed beef prices have been
strong throughout the week. There was some light cash trade on Thursday at
$2.00 to $4.00 higher, but it was limited and did not gather much attention. It
certainly looks like packers will need to pay more for cattle even though they
will be reluctant. Boxed beef prices Thursday showed choice gaining $3.38 with
select up $2.20. The increase in demand cannot be ignored with plants having to
increase slaughter to meet that demand. Export sales were good but not
exceptional at 15,100 metric tons (mt). Feeder cattle prices in the country
have been mixed this week as demand has slowed due to high prices and concerns
about future demand.
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