June cattle closed 50 lower during Friday's session as a sell-off in the stock market, crude oil, grains and hogs were widely thought to have pressured the market. However, June cattle was able to finish last week's trading with a gain of 252 points. Many traders were waiting for signs of cash cattle activity, with bids at $117.00 and offers at $122.00. Ideas that the limit-up advance Thursday might force packers into raising their bids may have provide some underlying support, but a sharp selloff in the hog market and weaker beef prices were seen as negative factors late last week. Signs that consumers are struggling with low disposable income levels was seen by many in the market to pressure both cattle and hog values recently. The rally late last week could lead to additional gains during the near-term if consumer demand has a normal seasonal increase this year, and if the export market is unaffected by recent mad cow and pink slime news. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 123,000 head Friday and 10,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 623,000 head, up from 611,000 head the previous week but down from 659,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were down 76 cents at mid-session Friday and closed 67 cents lower at $190.29. This was up from $190.27 the prior week.
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