April cattle closed slightly lower on the session yesterday after some choppy and two-sided trading action. The market initially rose moderately higher on the session and to the highest level since February 2nd, before turning around and making a lower close. The rally in February cattle this week has been thought to have attracted larger deliveries, which in turn could provide support for the cash market. There were 17 new deliveries and 31 re-tenders overnight. Showlists are smaller than recent weeks, with many traders see this as a potential supportive factor for cash markets going foreword. Some traders see cash trading higher this week after Texas hit a $107.00 peak last week. Slower imports, solid exports and the outlook for declining beef supply ahead were all though to have supported the gains for the past several days. A large premium of futures to the cash market helped pressure the market to the February 10th lows. Declining corn prices have supported feeder cattle during the past few days, with May feeders posting new contract highs. For the Cattle-on-Feed report this Friday, traders see placements from 95%-105% of last year and on-feed supply near 4%-5% above last year. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 128,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 255,000 head, up from 246,000 head last week at this time and up from 235,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were up 47 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 46 cents higher at $168.13. This was down from $169.82 the prior week.
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