Cattle Futures - Live Cattle Lags

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled weak Thursday on caution in anticipation of this week's cash cattle trade and trepidation before Friday's cattle report.
calendar icon 16 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Feeder cattle finished up slightly, hogs ended mostly higher and bellies closed up sharply.

Despite Wednesday's boxed beef uptrend, live cattle stumbled at the start as prospective longs continued to adopt a cautious market approach. Opinions were that floor confidence in cash sales would remain high as long as wholesale beef demand cooperated.

Although front-month futures at times bobbed above par trading levels due to spreading and short covering, contracts surrendered to selling into up ticks and technical resistance.

Also, uneven midday boxed beef prices and Friday's looming cattle survey created an air of uncertainty in the market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly cattle-on-feed report is scheduled for release Friday at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT). The following estimates are percentages of the year-earlier figure:

  Average of Estimates Range of estimates
On-feed in Nov 97.9 96.4-98.8
Placed in Oct 111.0 103.9-116.7
Marketed in Oct 107.3 104.3-109.1

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's midday boxed beef wire showed choice cuts down $0.12 per hundredweight and select items were up $0.18.

Packer bids came in at $92.50 per hundredweight for live-basis animals, and a small number of cattle in Texas actually moved at that price. However feeders, for the most part, are asking $95 to $96 for remaining cattle.

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