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DTN Early Word Opening Livestock       01/18 05:52
   Late-Week Positioning

   Market weakness through the end of the week is creating additional market
pressure in cattle and hog futures. This could allow for moderate price shifts
as traders adjust positions ahead of the long holiday weekend.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

Cattle: Steady               Futures: Lower   Live Equiv: $141.58 +0.31*
Hogs:   Steady to $1 Lower   Futures: Mixed   Lean Equiv: $ 74.68 +0.46**

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


   Cash cattle business has once again made it to Friday without any
significant market direction, or indication that packers and feeders will make
an effort to come to terms on selling cattle for the week. Packer interest
should improve through the morning, although it could be late in the day before
there is trade. Asking prices will likely be at $123 and higher live and $200
to $203 dressed, although given the market volatility in all livestock trade,
it is uncertain where markets will shake out by the end of the day. Futures
trade is expected to open with a weak undertone following previous sharp losses
in feeder cattle, creating market uncertainty through the entire market.
Traders are likely to try to square positions Friday, as overall volume may
remain sluggish ahead of the three-day weekend.
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