Beef packers could be moving into a period with smaller inventories, which may prompt them to push prices higher. CME futures prices will again have an impact on the cash trade.
Cattle feeders found softer prices and weaker packer demand as last week progressed, driven in part by declines in CME futures prices.
Despite declines in both cash and futures prices, cattle feeders continue to believe cattle markets show signs of optimism.
Producers who had the patience to hold out until Friday trade were rewarded with higher money, and packers remain hungry for cattle.
The early trade released any pressure on packers to acquire available inventory and made it easier for them to achieve their buy. The majority of the cash trade in the South was from two packers.
Packers were fairly aggressive in their drive to increase their inventory. Cash traded mostly on Thursday, but packers took on additional cattle Friday at steady money.
Packers took on more inventory last week, which allows them to sit out and leverage the extra volume to push the market lower with potential extended delivery periods.
Cash cattle trading started early last week as cattle feeders in Texas began on Monday by accepting cash bids a dollar lower.