Today’s Livestock Market Update

by Amelia Siroky

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DTN reports:

Heading into next week’s trade, the cash cattle market prays that bids will come steady, if not higher, and the feeder cattle contracts hope to find weaker corn prices once again.


After closing sharply lower Thursday afternoon, the live cattle contracts regained some of what the market lost in Thursday’s trade to round out the week on a positive note. June live cattle closed $0.95 higher at $121.05, August live cattle closed $0.45 higher at $121.55 and October live cattle closed $0.37 higher at $126.95. All in all, this last week was the shot of optimism that the cattle market needed. The board traded mostly higher, cash cattle traded $2.00 to $4.00 higher and even though boxed beef prices veered lower, beef demand is still strong amongst consumers, and packers are processing cattle vigorously as they have thick profits to secure from the meat counter. Throughout the week, dressed cattle sold for $192 to $200, with most of the week’s trade averaging $195, which is $4.00 higher than a week ago. Southern live cattle sold for $120 to $124, mostly at $122 which is $2.00 higher than a week ago. The upper end of both the live and dressed cattle prices made new highs for the cash cattle market this year.

Friday’s slaughter is estimated at 117,000 head, 2,000 head less than a week ago and steady with a year ago levels. Saturday’s kill is projected to be around 69,000 head, 1,000 head less than a week ago and 12,000 head more than a year ago. The week’s total estimated slaughter is pinned at 663,000 head, 1,000 head more than a week ago and 17,000 head more than a year ago. We mentioned earlier that slaughter levels throughout the month of June were going to be crucial to the market’s long-term success, and thankfully, if these numbers end up being confirmed, the market is achieving a commendable slaughter pace.

Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $2.97 ($323.28) and select down $3.63 ($283.61) with a movement of 87 loads (46.17 loads of choice, 23.38 loads of select, 10.03 loads of trim and 7.42 loads of ground beef). Throughout the entire week, choice cuts averaged $329.72 (down $8.61 from last week) and select cuts averaged $292.50 (down $15.26 from last week) and the week’s total movement of cuts, grinds and trim totaled 554 loads.



Steady. With the Senate Ag Committee meeting next week to address the cattle market and its broken structure, I don’t foresee packers drawing more attention to themselves by cutting the cash market lower.



The corn market kicked into high gear with Friday’s arrival and consequently that sent the feeder cattle contracts trading $1.00 to $2.00 lower. But looking at the entire week from both a technical and fundamental standpoint, the feeder cattle market performed exceptionally well. The market is trading above both the 40-day ($150.85) and 100-day ($153.31) moving averages, and if/when the corn market shows more weakness the market could be ready to rally again. August feeder cattle closed $2.37 lower at $155.02, September feeders closed $1.87 lower at $157.22 and October feeders closed $1.65 lower at $159.05. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for June 17: not available at this time.

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