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DTN Early Word Opening Livestock       07/16 05:52
   Cattle Futures Staged to Open Week With Mixed Prices

   Live and feeder contracts should open on a mixed basis with traders torn
between cash premiums and signs of struggling beef demand. Lean hog issues
should also begin with uneven price action with nearbys gaining on deferreds.

By John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst

Cattle: Steady         Futures: Mixed   Live Equiv:   $135.83  -1.47*
Hogs:   Steady-$1 LR   Futures: Mixed   Lean Equiv:   $ 89.00  + .21**

* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue


   The cash cattle market starts the week with plenty of unanswered questions,
questions like how many steers and heifers actually traded last week, and what
did weighted average prices finally look like. Trade volume on Friday seemed
unusually small, but it will be very interesting to see how mandatory summaries
read later Monday morning. For the most part, live sales were marked $1 to $2
lower on Friday (i.e., $110 to $111). Most dressed deals were booked at $173,
$2 to $4 lower. But again, the big question is exact trade volume. Activity
Monday will be limited to the distribution of new showlists. We assume the new
offerings will be larger, thanks to unsold numbers carried over. If limited
business means that packers are now especially short-bought, we could see cash
trading surface somewhat earlier than normal. Live and feeder futures seem
geared to open on a mixed basis thanks to the odd combination of cash premiums
and struggling beef cutouts.
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