December cattle closed 105 lower on the session Friday, closing lower for five sessions in a row to lose 395 points for the week and fall to the lowest price levels since November 1st. This selloff occurred in spite of cash cattle trading at a record high of $125.50 in the southern plains and as high as $127.00 in Kansas, and beef prices trading at the highest level since April. With cash markets posting record highs last week and beef prices trading at the highest level since April, some traders feel that it should not take much in the way of positive fundamental news to see at least a temporary recovery. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 94,000 head Friday and 20,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 625,000 head, down from 648,000 head the previous week and down from 661,000 head a year ago. Beef production for the week was 486.5 million pounds, which is down 3.6% from last week and down 5.4% from last year. Boxed beef cutout values were up 52 cents at mid-session Friday and closed 53 cents higher at $191.02. This was up from $187.13 the prior week and is the highest beef market since April 6th. Select beef was up $0.61 to $172.70.
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