Cattle Futures - Live Cattle Unch-Weak

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts Wednesday settled unchanged to weak on profit-taking and forward spreading out of February and April into December. That weighed more on February and April but underpinned spot December.
calendar icon 15 November 2007
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Also, mounting trader caution before the federal government's upcoming monthly cattle report kept board buying at a minimum. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly cattle-on-feed data is scheduled for release Friday at 3 p.m. EST. The following estimates are percentages of the year-earlier figure:

  Average of Estimates Range of Estimates
On-feed in Nov
Placed in Oct
Marketed in Oct

Meanwhile, feeder cattle posted modest losses. Lean hogs and pork bellies finished lower.

Live cattle contracts spiked at the start, sparked by follow-through buying and stout wholesale beef demand. December and February gradually made further headway after both trading months punched through major moving average defenses.

However, futures melted from highs as caution replaced bullishness. Market participants weighed pre-report forecasts against sentiments for steady-to-better cash returns this week based on boxed beef's strong performance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's midday boxed-beef wire showed choice cuts jumped $1.16 per hundredweight and select items soared $2.26.

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