October cattle closed moderately lower on the session yesterday, as outside market forces were a main source of pressure on prices but new all-time highs in hogs were seen as helping the cattle market avoid aggressive liquidation selling. Cattle futures traded higher early in Thursday's session, but a selloff in the stock market down to new lows for the year, a sharp rally in the US Dollar and a collapse in other commodity markets were widely thought to have pressured the market down to moderately lower levels for the day. Ideas that there is a tight supply of market-ready cattle and that cash cattle may trade higher for the week helped to support the market early. Cash cattle bids emerged at $108.00 this week with offers at $112.00-$113.00. While supply news has not changed dramatically during recent days, the demand outlook is now in question as a weaker economic outlook suggests lower purchases of higher-priced beef cuts from consumers. The recent demand has been sluggish due to hot and humid weather and beef prices are at the lowest level since June 17th. However, many traders see a smaller showlist this week and a firm export market as reasons to suspect higher trade in the cash market. Boxed beef cutout values were down 14 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 3 cents lower at $173.48. This was down from $175.25 the prior week. Weekly U.S. beef export sales for the week ending July 28th came in at 17,200 metric tonnes, compared with the prior 4-week average of 18,175. Cumulative sales for 2011 have reached 566,900 metric tonnes, up 36.6% from last year's pace. There are some traders who continue to believe that cattle weights will have a decline and that weight loss from the severe July heat will slow performance. However, for the week ending July 23rd, average dressed steer weights were at 847 pounds, up one pound from the previous week and up from 836 pounds last year at this time. The 5-year average weight for this time of the year is 841 pounds. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 127,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 507,000 head, down from 514,000 head last week at this time and down from 510,000 head a year ago.