December cattle closed 27 higher on the session yesterday and up 152 points from the early lows. While the USDA Cattle-on-Feed report from Friday was generally considered neutral for cattle prices, the market had already fallen sharply on Thursday and Friday going into the report. However, some traders felt that cattle could not shake off the negative demand tone coming from the economic concerns with Europe and the US as the market fell to the lowest level since November 1st. A firmer tone to the beef market and expectations for tightening supply ahead may have provided support for the recovery in prices. A new 8-year high in beef prices plus some expectation for decent short-term demand from consumers were also seen as positive factors for the market. News that packer bids were emerging at mid-session yesterday during a period of poor packer margins was seen as a catalyst for yesterday's rebound. There were ideas that those packers have already booked business at lucrative prices. Many traders believe that if packers still need live inventory for this week, then demand must be decent. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 132,000 head yesterday. This was up from 123,000 head last week but unchanged from a year ago as this time. Boxed beef cutout values were up $1.29 at mid-session yesterday and closed $1.26 higher at $196.38. This was up from $192.40 the prior week. This is the highest beef market since October of 2003.