April cattle closed moderately lower on the session yesterday and stayed in a fairly tight range for the last several hours of trading, after recovering from a slide to the lowest price levels since January 19th. The strength of the US dollar and a sharp selloff in the stock market were seen as the main causes for the early weakness in the cattle market. Cash cattle traded $2.00 lower on the week last week to $124.00 as the USDA cattle inventory report confirmed the lowest herd in 60 years. The feeder supply outside of feedlots came in down 4% from last year. Total cattle and calves as of January 1st came in at 90.769 million head, which was 97.9% of last year. The calf crop was 35.313 million head, 98.9% of last year. Some traders see tightening supply into the spring as a potentially supportive force for the market. Short-term, however, other traders feel it will be important to see beef demand show some improvement. Boxed beef cutout values were down 92 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed $1.25 lower at $182.88. This was down from $183.52 the prior week and is the lowest beef market since January 20th. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 114,000 head yesterday, which was in-line with expectations but down from 123,000 head last week, and down from 121,000 head a year ago as this time.