April cattle closed lower during Wednesday's session and posted the lowest closing price since January 12th. The market traded slightly higher early in the session as a rally in the US stock market and strength in other commodity markets were thought to have supported the market. With the US dollar trading lower and strength shown in equities, metals and energy markets, outside market forces look positive again for today. Weakness in grains in spite of the rally in the stock market yesterday may have pressured the market, as April feeder cattle fell to their lowest price levels since January 23rd. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 126,000 head yesterday, which was higher than expected for the second day in a row and suggests better demand from packers. This brings the total for the week so far to 377,000 head, up from 365,000 head last week at this time but down from 385,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were down 38 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 58 cents lower at $197.53. This was down from $198.80 the prior week and is the lowest beef market since February 24th.
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