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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      01/26 05:44
   Slaughter Pace Impacts Prices

   Live cattle struggled with most contracts closing lower. February was higher
due to steady cash trade surfacing Tuesday. Feeder cattle took it on the chin
again due to bearish fundamentals. Hogs have no limits as futures continue to
reach new highs.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady. Futures: Mixed. Live Equiv: $218.54 -$0.86*

   Hogs: Higher. Futures: Higher. Lean Equiv: $99.60 -$3.20**

   *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.


   As much as many hope cattle futures will find a bottom, it remains elusive.
Prices did not suffer the losses that that feeder cattle did, but they failed
to attract strong buyer interest. Boxed beef prices declined with choice down
$1.12 and select down $1.47. As expected, feedlots wanted to sell cattle and
when packers floated steady bids, they took them. Limited trade took place in
the South at $137 and in the North at $218. Cash activity was not widespread,
but it could have been. Steady cash may be as good as it gets now that packers
see that steady prices may get the job done and then some as packers continue
to purchase for immediate slaughter and future delivery.
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