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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      04/18 06:19
   Cash Uncertainty May Keep Futures Mixed

   Livestock futures were a mixed bag with closer contracts in live cattle
lower and differed contracts higher. Feeder cattle were higher in the front
month and lower thereafter. Hog futures were mixed.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Lower         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $219.85 -$1.01*

   Hogs: Higher         Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:   $105.52  Unch**

   *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.


   Cattle traders did not have much to focus on leaving the market floundering
on Wednesday. Cash cattle did not trade so far this week leaving traders
thinking about the upcoming Cattle on Feed report. It seems a bit early to be
positioning ahead of the report but with nothing else going on, it seemed like
that was the thing to do. Boxed beef showed weakness with choice down $1.24 and
select down $1.76. It is likely cash will trade lower again this week as the
packers may not need to be aggressive. The Cattle on Feed report will be
released on Friday. The trade estimates are for On-feed numbers on April 1 at
102% of a year ago. Placements in March are expected at 92.1% with marketings
at 88.2% of a year ago.
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