Today’s Livestock Market Update

by Jennifer Stanton
DTN Reports:

Cash cattle bids have been on the table all day, but feedlots remain committed to receiving higher prices.


The live cattle complex closed mixed with the June and August 2024 contracts closing slightly higher while the rest of the complex closed modestly lower. The market seems to pull back modestly ahead of closing as traders have grown accustomed to doing so before the monthly Cattle on Feed reports are shared, but the June and August 2024 contracts didn’t bother to do so as the market was elated by this week’s strong performance in the cash cattle complex. Bids have been sitting on the table throughout the day, but at the time of this writing, no more cash cattle sales have been noted following what transpired on Thursday. Thus far this week Southern live cattle have sold mostly for $187 which is $1.00 higher than last week’s weighted average, and Northern dressed cattle traded anywhere from $300 to $304 which is steady to $5.00 higher than last week’s weighted average. Depending on where the week’s weighted average falls in the Northern plains if the market averages $304, that’s a new all-time high for the region. June live cattle closed $0.17 higher at $183.70, August live cattle closed $0.05 higher at $181.12 and October live cattle closed $0.12 lower at $183.95.

All in all, Friday’s Cattle on Feed report should be viewed as bullish long-term given that on feed numbers were decreased, placements were less than a year ago and marketings were higher than a year ago. Click here to read DTN’s Cattle on Feed comments:

Friday’s slaughter is estimated at 117,000 head — 15,000 head more than a week ago and steady with a year ago. Saturday’s slaughter is projected to be around 4,000 head. The week’s total slaughter is estimated at 607,000 head — 9,000 head more than the previous week and 18,000 head less than a year ago.

Boxed beef prices closed higher: choice up $0.61 ($310.45) and select up $1.64 ($301.72) with a movement of 107 loads (74.23 loads of choice, 13.80 loads of select, 7.57 loads of trim and 11.49 loads of ground beef).


Steady. It’s a coin toss on how next week’s cash cattle market will trade as at some point packers will have enough supply around them that they won’t have to support the cash sector, but pinpointing when that occurs exactly remains the question as packers also can’t go without having enough product to market during this time when boxed beef prices are so high.


The feeder cattle complex pulled back ahead of Friday’s close as traders were anxious to see the Cattle on Feed data. Thankfully the report came out as expected, so no bearish consequences should be in store for next week’s market. August feeders closed $1.22 lower at $260.22, September feeders closed $0.97 lower at $261.75 and October feeders closed $0.77 lower at $262.55. Even though the futures complex closed lower, the feeder cattle market is still seeing ample demand as the CME feeder cattle index closed above $250 — which shows how aggressively buyers are bidding on feeders to get their orders filled. The Oklahoma Weekly Cattle Auction Summary shared that compared to last week steers and heifers over 700 pounds traded $4.00 to $9.00 higher and steers and heifers under 700 pounds sold steady to $2.00 higher. Slaughter cows sold steady to $3.00 higher and slaughter bulls traded steady. The CME feeder cattle index 5/23/2024: up $1.33, $250.14.

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What are cattle Packer margins currently?

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