February cattle closed 17 lower on the session yesterday, and down 317 from the early highs. The market pushed sharply higher on the session early, finding support from continued strong beef prices and a limit-up advance for feeder cattle. March feeders managed to close higher on the day but also down sharply from the early peak. News that cash feeders traded $5.00 to $9.00 higher in the Oklahoma cash market helped to support the early surge higher. Cut-out values on Monday jumped $1.82 to $171.55, the highest since July 15th of 2008 and this helped to lift the market up to new all-time highs of 112.37 for the nearby futures. The surge in beef prices is expected to support further gains in the cash cattle market which already hit a 2 1/2 year high last week at $108.00. April cattle closed unchanged on the session at 113.75 after posting an early high at 116.60. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 125,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 250,000 head, up from 242,000 head last week at this time but down from 257,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were up $1.04 at mid-session yesterday and closed $1.26 higher at $172.81. This was up from $167.42 the prior week and is the highest beef market since July 11th of 2008.