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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      05/23 06:19
   Cattle Traders Begin Looking Ahead to Cattle on Feed Report

   Cattle and hogs diverged Wednesday with cattle posting triple-digit gains
while hogs showed triple-digit losses. Cattle futures seem to be targeting the
highs from March. Hog futures may be heading to the February lows.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady          Futures: Mixed    Live Equiv: $229.06 -$0.69*

   Hogs: Higher            Futures: Mixed    Lean Equiv: $105.93 -$0.62**

   *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 led the charge Wednesday with futures breaking through and
closing above technical resistance. Live cattle futures are heading to the
highs set in March. The limiting factor Thursday might be the upcoming Cattle
on Feed report. Traders may either take some profits or protect their positions
with other strategies ahead of the report and the extended weekend. Estimates
for the report are for an on-feed number on May 1 of 99.1% of a year ago.
Placements in April at 93.3% and marketings at 109.5%. The range of estimates
for the on-feed number is 97.9% to 100.5%. Placements again have a wide range
of 86.5% to $104.5% and will keep traders cautious going into the report. The
range for marketing is from 108.6% to 110.7%. Boxed beef prices were lower with
choice down $0.85 and select down $1.26.
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