Cash Fed Cattle Rally, Look For More
Feedyards across all regions sold cattle higher last week and are looking to push the market even further this week. Last week sales volumes were called light to moderate with packers chasing a tightening supply.
Cattle in the South traded primarily at $117 with a few up to $118 per cwt., $1 to $2 higher than the previous week. Cattle in the North sold mostly at $118 live with a few up to $119, and $188 to $190 dressed, $2 to $3 higher and up to $5 higher for dressed sales.
Beef demand is called higher this week as more restaurants re-open and consumer traffic exceeds expectations. Feedyards will be asking $120 or better this week.
Estimated weekly slaughter was 609,000 head last week compared to 631,299 last year. The total year-to-date was 8.36 million head, 3.4% below last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were higher with the Choice boxed beef at $252.85 per cwt., $15.19 higher than the previous week. Select boxed beef sold at $246.97 per cwt., $19.20 higher. Even as fed cattle prices move higher, packer margins again widened with the surging wholesale beef prices.
CME futures markets were closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday. On Thursday June live cattle closed 35 cents lower at $122.55. Prices closed near the session low on mild profit taking after hitting a contract high in early trading. For the week, June cattle gained 77.5 cents. May feeder cattle futures closed down 17.5 cents at $149.225 Thursday. Prices closed nearer the session low and saw mild profit taking after hitting a contract high on Tuesday. For the week, May feeders fell 65 cents.