Cattle markets rally late week

CME cattle futures followed Thursday's limit up trading with solid gains again in action Friday. The nearby October contract closed up $2.12 at $101.15. Feeder cattle futures also post gains, with nearby October up $0.12.

The bullish ideas in Chicago helped lift cash cattle prices on the High Plains off the six-year lows established last week. Friday saw a few trades at $98 to $99.50, which is $1.50 higher than last week. USDA's five-area average was $98.24.

Friday's USDA cattle on feed report found 10.3 million cattle in U.S. feedlots, slightly more than the same time a year ago. September placements were 1.91 million head, down 2% from 2015. USDA says September placements were the lowest since the data series began in 1996. Marketings of fed cattle during September totaled 1.73 million head, 5 percent above 2015.

Market analysts are calling the Cattle on Feed report neutral to friendly on the lighter than expected placement numbers.

Feeder cattle traded in a wide, mixed range at $2 higher to $7 lower. USDA reported steer and heifer calves sold mostly 3.00 to 6.00 lower, with unweaned calves selling up to 10.00 lower.