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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      08/02 06:20
   Lackluster Trade Expected Friday

   Live cattle futures were able to manage a slightly higher close last week,
but the same could not be said for feeder cattle and hogs. Packers may not be
willing to increase bids early in the week until they see early demand and the
direction of futures.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Steady   Futures: Mixed    Live Equiv:   $206.72 +2.27*

   Hogs:  Lower    Futures: Higher   Lean Equiv:  $130.70 +0.02**

   * 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


   Boxed beef prices soared last week as demand is picking up ahead of Labor
Day. However, that did not translate into stronger cash price other than $1.00
higher cash in the South. The volume of cattle traded was light, indicating
packers already had sufficient numbers already on hand. It would seem that
increasing demand would require packers to increase their need for cattle. We
may see this take place this week as packers may need to start being more
aggressive. They may have cattle already on the books, but they will also need
to look ahead and not wait until their supply has dwindled before stepping up.
As usual, the only activity likely to take place Monday is the distribution of
showlists. China has become a significant importer of beef. Total commitments
this year are already 119,000 metric tons compared to 15,000 metric tons last
year for the same time.
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