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DTN Early Word Opening Livestock       04/06 06:35
   Continued Market Weakness Likely Early Monday

   Even though there is developing hope that overnight support in stock prices
will spark much needed stability and buyer interest across livestock trade, the
bearish sediment last week may firmly hold prices during early-week trade.

By Rick Kment
DTN Analyst

Cattle: Steady to Lower   Futures: Lower   Live Equiv $149.43 -2.56*
Hogs:   Lower             Futures: Lower   Lean Equiv $ 62.29 -1.81**

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


   The light cash cattle trade last week is creating questions about whether
packers will continue to pull back on production levels in the upcoming weeks
as increased virus cases continue in the country. The announcement that workers
are reported testing positive in many types of manufacturing and processing
plants across the country has started to added uncertainty to overall beef
production levels. With cases of coronavirus reported at the JBS beef plant in
Grand Island, Nebraska, there is still no report that production levels have
changed going into the week, but the temporary closure of the company's plant
in Pennsylvania is creating uncertainty in the complex. It is possible that
packers will enter the week following limited trade last week, looking forward
and remaining short-bought going through the early part of April. With the
Easter weekend approaching and production levels limited, it is likely that
packers are facing another week of scaled-back production. Bids and asking
prices may not develop until midweek or later, which may limit cash market
support over the next couple of days. Futures trade is expected mostly lower
with firm pressure developing late last week, keeping the entire market weak.
Live cattle futures will have the access to expanded trading limits Monday
following April contracts closing limit lower Friday. Feeder cattle trade moves
back to normal trading limits of $4.50 per cwt Monday morning. Monday slaughter
is expected at 118,000 head.
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