June cattle closed moderately lower on the session yesterday and posted the lowest close since June 6th, 2011 as news of a sharply lower bid in the cash market and weakness in outside market forces helped to trigger a move down to a new 10-month low for both April and June cattle. Weakness in the cash market, a turn down in beef prices to their lowest levels since January plus the negative impact of outside market forces have suggested that the market may remain under pressure during today's session. Media attention on pink slime and rising gas prices into the spring are factors which traders fear are negatively impacting domestic beef demand. On top of all of the domestic demand issues for US beef, a surge in the US dollar late yesterday and again overnight may have a negative impact on export demand. Cash cattle traded at $122-$123 in Texas, which is down $2.00-$3.00 from last week and down from $130 just one month ago. While sharply lower on the week, the cash trades are still at a premium to futures. Boxed beef cutout values were up 47 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed $1.01 lower at $183.09. This was down from $185.44 the prior week and is the lowest beef trade since January 30th. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 126,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 250,000 head, unchanged from last week at this time but down from 255,000 head a year ago.
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