June cattle closed 40 lower on the session Friday, and down 62 points for the week. The cattle market found support from the higher trade in the beef market but many traders felt that long liquidation selling emerging ahead of the USDA Cattle-on-Feed report. The USDA Cattle-on-Feed report was considered slightly supportive to the market, with the April 1st on-feed supply at 101.9% seen to be under market expectations. Marketings for the month of March were at the high end of trade expectations at 96.4%, which could indicate tighter supply and would also be considered supportive for the June contract. Placements for the month of March came in right on expectations at 93.6%, which will likely have a neutral effect on the August futures. However, the impact of this report may not be large enough to offset the negative tone of outside market forces this morning. End of March frozen beef stocks came in at 507.86 million pounds, which was up 8% from the previous month and up 14% from last year. Normally, frozen stocks decline by 4% for the month so the 8% decline would be considered negative for the market as these figures could show a weaker demand tone and appear to be a record high for March. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 123,000 head Friday and 3,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 598,000 head, up from 582,000 head the previous week but down from 649,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were up $1.02 at mid-session Friday and closed 93 cents higher at $188.01. This was up from $178.51 the prior week and is the highest beef market since March 22nd.
Join the Discussion