US - December live cattle closed up 35 cents to $132.25 while February closed with moderate gains to a five session high, according to market analysts.
Tightening supply and a surge in feeder cattle helped to support active buying, write CME experts.
A collapse in corn values helped to support feeder cattle. The USDA sees beef production in 2014 down 5.7 per cent from last year and this has added to the positive tone this week.
Cold weather can reduce cattle performance and may cause weights to drop. The cash market tone is steady this week and February cattle is trading at only a very slight premium to the cash market as compared with a $6.00 premium held last year at this time.
Choice boxed-beef cut-out values were down $2.11 at mid-day to $200.50 while select beef was up 57 cents to $187.67.
Weekly U.S. beef export sales for the week ending December 5th came in at 10,100 metric tonnes, compared with the prior 4-week average of 6,160 tonnes.
Cumulative sales for 2013 have reached 724,900 metric tonnes, down -16.0 per cent from last year's pace. Average dressed steer weights for the week ending November 30th came in at 875 pounds, down from 879 the previous week and down from 876 pounds last year.
The 5-year average weekly weight for that week is 859.0.
Beef production for the same week came in at 449.2 million pounds, down 11.8 per cent over year ago.
Slaughter came in below trade expectations at just 116,000 head.
TheCattleSite News Desk