Feeder Cattle Futures Market News and Commentary
Nearby cattle traded in a mostly tight range, and settled mixed but mostly lower within 40 cents of UNCH for pre-report positioning. The feeder cattle market was up by triple digits ahead of the report, led by a 1.21% gain in March. USDA has little to no cash trade to reported so far this week, maintaining $156 as last week’s market for the South and $248 for the Northern dressed market. The 1/30 CME Feeder Cattle Index was $180.42, up by 54 cents.
The semi-annual NASS cattle inventory counted 89.274m head on Jan 1. That was a 3% drop from last year’s inventory. Beef cows were 4% lower yr/yr with 28.92m head, but replacement heifers were down by a sharp 5.8% yr/yr to 5.164m head. The calf crop was reported at 34.464 million head compared to 35.166 last year.
Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were mixed in the Tuesday PM report, with Choice down $2.01 and Select up $1.40. That dropped the Chc/Sel spread to $13.17. USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter at 248,000 head WTD through... Read more