Hulett: Cash Cattle Gaining Ground
Trade in the South started last Tuesday at $110.50. On Wednesday, packers bought cattle in Kansas at $109-$110. As the week progressed, the cash trade gained more momentum to trade at $111 when a couple of packers were short of cattle on Friday. Numbers indicate that packers could be running low on committed cattle, which should force some packers back into the cash market.
The North began the week with early trade as well. Two packers started buying cattle in the North early in the week at $106. Most of these early purchases were hauled out of the region. Later in the week, dressed cattle traded in the low $170’s dressed and live cattle up to $110.
Scheduled downtime for maintenance at some plants is planned within weeks. The down time is never ideal for cash trade. With cattle numbers potentially lower, the remaining packer’s position could require that they push harder in the live market to secure their needs.