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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      04/15 06:20
   Uncertainty Will Dominate Trading Activity

   Livestock futures came under substantial pressure Friday with triple-digit
losses in all contracts. Traders do not like recent news that could further
impact the cattle market. Hogs fell under the uncertainty of ongoing demand.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Lower          Futures: Mixed   Live Equiv:   $222.78 +$1.10*

   Hogs: Higher          Futures: Mixed   Lean Equiv:   $107.17 -$0.09**

   *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.


   We can say what we want about the tightness of cattle supplies, higher calf
prices, feeder prices, and some buyers having a difficult time finding
sufficient cattle for slaughter. However, the market is now being driven more
by perception than tight cattle supplies. Traders do not like the uncertainty
surrounding HPAI that has been found in dairy cattle and whether that could
impact beef cattle and potentially impact demand. This flu is not considered a
concern for food safety, but consumer perception is what will impact the
market. Cash cattle traded lower last week with Southern cattle $2.00 lower at
$182 and Northern cattle $2.00 to $4.00 lower, ranging from $293 to $295. Boxed
beef closed higher with choice up $2.20, pushing it back above $300 again,
while select gained $0.39. June cattle futures closed at the lowest level since
Jan. 10 after falling below support Friday. USDA has proposed some changes to
livestock publications. This may reduce some of the accuracy and transparency
of certain reports. They plan on reducing the number of published states on the
January Cattle Inventory report from 50 states to 31 states. The Commitments of
Traders report showed funds reducing their net-long positions by 18,488
contracts to a net long of 42,136 contracts. Funds sold 3,049 futures
contracts, bringing their net-long positions to 6,019 futures contracts.
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