Last week was a continuation of the previous backslide in the cash cattle market. Cattle in the south traded $3 to $5 lower at $116 to $118 cwt. The north was softer. However, a midweek rally helped to keep prices slightly firmer than those in the south.
The north trade was mixed with dressed cattle, $184 to $190, and live cattle, $114 to $119.50. Cattle delivering the first week of May brought the lower end of the market.
Many feeders were optimistic of an upward trend after a stronger board midweek. However, announcements of further potential tariffs against China caused most of the early board gains to again decline. The gains and the declines on the board, beg the question, where are we on the roller coaster ride?
The number of market-ready cattle in all regions continue to be short, creating opportunity for the fat cattle market to bounce back. The south is short and pulling cattle forward. Another winter storm in the north will again slow market-ready cattle.
Many factors support an upward climb on this market roller coaster ride, which would bring relief after weeks of the cash price careening downward.