Live Cattle Futures PricesFri, Jan 23rd, 2015
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Live cattle futures were locked limit down Friday ahead of the Cattle on Feed report and in the face of falling beef prices. They ended the week down almost 3%. Feeders lost more modestly on the week but closed down $4.50 in several contracts on Friday. Week to date slaughter was 576K, 30K more than last week but still well below the 600K posted this time last year. The CME cash feeder cattle index recovered 22 cents Thursday at 22.07. Boxed beef prices continued their recent decline and Choice ended the day at $253.74, a $1.91 loss on the day; Select ended the day down $1.66, at $247.23, leaving the spread at $651. Both index funds and managed money reduced their long positions in live and feeder cattle in the CFTC report this week.
The Cattle on Feed report this afternoon came in at 10.7 million head as of Jan. 1, 100.94% of last year’s level and if anything a touch below expectations. Marketings during December at 1.66 million, was down 4.7%, also fairly close to trade guesses. The surprise was in December placements, which fell by more than expected, at 8%, to 1.54 million.
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