Cash Cattle is King, Hitting Record Highs

Cows looking out from pen ear tagged

Live cattle futures followed the cash strength on Friday, as contracts closed out the week with gains of $1.92 to $3.67. Cash trade was strong last week, with a few sales at $186 reported in KS by USDA and some up to $195. USDA also indicated $192-196 trade in NE and a couple in the $197 range, a record in the cash market. Feeder cattle futures rallied for gains of $3.72 to $4.50 into the Friday close, which took the August contact to a weekly increase of +$7.05.  The CME Feeder Cattle Index was up 27 cents on June 13 at $256.13. 

Specs in live cattle futures and options cut back 4,252 contracts from their net long position in the week of 6/11, according to CFTC data. They held a net long of 48,489 contracts on that date. 

USDA reported wholesale Boxed Beef prices pushing higher on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $1.58 to $319.89, with Select $4.56 higher at $303.81. The Chc/Select spread narrowed to $16.08.  USDA estimated FI slaughter at 615,000 head for the week through Saturday.  That is up 1,000 head from the previous week but was 11,124 head below the same week last year.  

Jun 24 Live Cattle  closed at $186.825, up $2.000,

Aug 24 Live Cattle  closed at $183.175, up $3.675,

Oct 24 Live Cattle  closed at $184.850, up $3.150,

Aug 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $261.975, up $4.500,

Sep 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $262.700, up $4.400,

Oct 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $263.100, up $4.375,

On the date of publication, Alan Brugler did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.