DTN Livestock Open: Cattle Market Uncertainty Continues

    Cattle futures found their legs after a period of weakness, closing higher for the day. Initial cash cattle traded at steady money, eliminating some concern over potential weakness. Hogs succeeded in closing the chart gaps and then some through the April contract due to further product weakness.

    Cattle: Steady Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $210.26 +0.15*
    Hogs: Steady Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $103.88 -2.40**
    *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:

    Cattle futures closed higher leaving the market maintaining a sideways trading pattern. As long as cash holds steady, futures may remain sideways. Volatility was confined to about $1.00 swing in the market. Traders are trying to weigh the amount of cattle available to the market with the pace of current demand.

    Packers have been willing to pay steady money for cattle and are finding willing sellers. Boxed beef was mixed Wednesday with choice down $0.85 and select up $1.27. Demand may hold or increase at these prices, leaving beef prices mixed for the time being.

    Traders are cautious over the upcoming Cattle on Feed report to be released Friday. Weekly export sales will be released Thursday morning and may have an impact on price direction.

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