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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      04/22 06:06
   Cattle Expected To Open Higher

   Live cattle closed with minor gains on Friday ahead of the Cattle on Feed
report while feeder cattle ended the day with losses. Traders positioned
themselves to reduce risk for what the numbers might indicate. Hogs found
strong buying interest even though packers had finished buying for the week.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Lower         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $219.24 +$0.22*

   Hogs: Higher         Futures: Mixed     Lean Equiv:   $106.05 +$0.12**

   *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.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

   The numbers on the Cattle on Feed report were surprising to the trade making
it an interesting beginning of the week. The number of cattle on feed was one
percent below the average trade estimate at 101%. Placements were 4.8% below
the average trade estimate of 88%. Both the on-feed and placement numbers were
below the bottom of the range of trade estimates and would make it bullish for
futures. However, marketings came in at 86% which was 3% below the average
trade estimate and below the range of estimates making it bearish. Taking it as
a whole, the report seems to be neutral to slightly bullish. The knee-jerk
reaction to the report should be a higher opening today. Support may be seen
from the fact that Southern cash cattle traded at steady money last week while
Northern cattle traded $1.00 lower. This was much better than had been
anticipated earlier in the week. Boxed beef prices were mixed with choice down
$0.13 and select up $1.56. The Commitment of Traders report showed funds
selling 5,104 live cattle futures contracts reducing their net long positions
to 37,032 futures contracts. Fund sold 1,838 feeder cattle contracts reducing
their net long positions to 4,181 futures contracts.
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