August cattle closed sharply higher on the session yesterday, and finished with the highest close since July 13th. The market traded lower early in the session, with may traders feeling that general concern for global economic conditions is pressuring energy and other commodity markets. A weaker tone for beef demand and recent poor weather for consumer demand, plus talk of lower cash markets as a strong possibility this week was thought to have added to the negative tone early in Tuesday's session. While cash and beef markets are still considered sluggish this week, some traders saw a short-covering jump in futures with ideas of increased demand from Japan helping to support. The market managed to trade sharply higher late in the session yesterday finding support from a rally in grains and a solid recovery in the stock market plus a moderate break in the US dollar, which might stimulate better export demand. With exports only a small portion of total demand for US beef, the market may struggle to see any upside follow-through from this news. If the southern plains cattle trade lower this week, August futures will be holding a significant premium to the cash market. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 129,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 256,000 head, up from 255,000 head last week at this time and up from 253,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were down 13 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 60 cents lower at $174.74. This was down from $180.90 the prior week and is the lowest beef market price level since June 17th.