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DTN Early Word Livestock Comments      12/03 06:14
   Follow-Through Strength Expected

   The livestock complex was higher Thursday with the exception of January
feeder cattle. Active cash trading as much as $3.00 higher provided the
catalyst for higher futures. Hogs were the recipients of a large increase of
cutouts values as well a supportive export sales report.

Robin Schmahl
DTN Contributing Analyst

   Cattle: Higher        Futures: Higher    Live Equiv:   $203.41 +$0.61*

   Hogs: Steady          Futures: Higher    Lean Equiv:    $94.90 +$5.72**

   *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


   Cattle traders seemed to be in a wait-and-see mode until the anticipation of
higher cash was realized and that is what took place Thursday. Instead of $1.00
to $2.00 higher cash as many had expected, packers paid upwards of $3.00 higher
for both live and dressed cattle. As long as packers continue to run a brisk
slaughter pace, feedlots will be in the driver's seat. Support also stemmed
from higher boxed beef after a few days of lower prices. Choice increased $1.80
with select up $0.28. Cash business will continue Friday, but prices will be at
levels already seen. Weekly export sales were neutral Thursday at 21,600 metric
tons (mt).
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