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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      03/31 06:11
   Mixed Early Trading Activity Expected

   Both live cattle and feeder cattle were higher across the board Thursday.
Traders found solid footing with feedlots able to see cash trade $4.00 to $5.00
higher. Hogs struggled somewhat throughout the day with most of futures
contracts posting gains at the close as traders positioned for the report.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Higher         Futures: Mixed     Live Equiv:   $207.52 -$0.63*

   Hogs: Mixed           Futures: Higher    Lean Equiv:    $86.06 -$1.47**

   *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.


   Traders became more aggressive buyers of cattle futures as cash trading
unfolded. Packers could not afford to hold back any longer, paying $4.00 higher
for Southern cattle and $5.00 and higher for dressed cattle in the North. This
pushed April cattle futures to a new contract high along with December and
later contracts. June, August, and October contracts are knocking on the door
of new highs. However, boxed beef was lower again with choice down $1.09 and
select down $0.44. Slaughter remains active as retail demand is strong. Weekly
export sales were not supportive at 11,300 metric tons (mt), down 40% from the
previous week, but the market did not care Thursday. Feeder cattle posted
triple-digit gains across the board. The April contract is now the front month
and closed just shy of $200 yesterday. August and later contracts moved to new
contract highs.
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