The market continued to chop higher over the past few weeks as the outlook for tightening feedlot supply and a more positive tone for the cash market has helped support. Beef prices are pushing higher over the past week and this has eased fears of consumer resistance to higher trade ahead.

Boxed beef cutout values were up $1.14 at mid-session yesterday and closed 63 cents higher at $191.20. This was up from $190.49 the prior week. December cattle closed moderately higher on the session yesterday but down 50 from the early highs. Outside market forces were mixed but the stock market weakness and surge higher in the US dollar seemed to slow the early momentum. The market traded as much as 82 higher early and pushed to the highest level since September 25th, with a strong tone for the beef market and talk of tightening supply ahead helping to support.

Profit-taking selling emerged to spark the set-back. Ideas that the cash market may trade higher this week plus the lack of pressure in October futures after there were 24 deliveries posted helped to support.

One firm accepted all of the deliveries. There were no new deliveries overnight, and this supported a jump to the highest level since September 25th for October cattle.

Slaughter came in higher than expected for the second day in a row at 127,000 head, which might suggest improving demand from the packer for live inventory. This brings the total for the week so far to 255,000 head, up from 251,000 last week at this time but down from 258,000 a year ago.
 

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