April cattle rallied late during the session yesterday to close higher for the day, and were seen as finding support from a late rally in corn prices. The market had been under pressure early due to widespread economic concerns due to the recent unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, most recently with Libya and Bahrain. There are also building concerns that the discord with drift over to other key oil producers in the region, including Saudi Arabia. These fears were seen as sparking sharp rallies in crude oil and flight to quality instruments like US Treasuries and precious metals, but it also triggered selling in the stock markets and other commodities as traders worried about the state of the global economy. Higher boxed beef prices at midday suggested to some traders that demand was holding up better than expected over the near term. Many traders remain nervous that outside market forces will create a weaker tone for the global economy and have a negative impact on consumer spending. A surge in energy prices in the past has made a profound impact on consumer spending patterns, with higher priced-beef cuts widely seen as an easy item for consumers to cut back on when gasoline prices rally. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 129,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 372,000 head, down from 384,000 head last week at this time and down from 373,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were up 56 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 89 cents higher at $170.45. This was up from $168.45 the prior week and is the highest beef market since February 4th.