Cattle Futures: Live Cattle Mixed Amid Short Covering

CHICAGO - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Wednesday on late-session short covering and April/June bull and June/August bear spreading as traders worked positions while awaiting this week's cash trade.
calendar icon 22 March 2007
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Meanwhile, back-month cattle landed on the plus side of the ledger despite Chicago Board of Trade corn that distanced itself from early-morning lows.

Spot-April closed up 12 points at 97.72 cents a pound.

Most-active June finished down 2 points at 94.92 cents.

Cash negotiations are slow to materialize, with packer buyers and cattle feeders on Wednesday far from reaching deals. Isolated dressed bids in Nebraska are $3 to $5 per hundredweight below what those who sell cattle for a living are asking. And, whispers of $94 live basis bids in Texas were heard against asking prices up as much as $102.

Mixed midday boxed beef cutouts provided little for traders on both sides of the market to gnaw on. However, sentiments persist that meat demand overall could perk up as grills in the northern and eastern regions of the country fire up in anticipation of spring-like temperatures.

Thursday is the eve of the federal government's monthly cattle-on-feed report that is scheduled for release on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT.

RJ O'Brien was on both sides of April. Rosenthal bought April and sold June outright. ADM and Fimat were among April sellers.

Estimated live cattle volume was 29,548 contracts, compared with 31,768 Tuesday.

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