Cattle futures traded higher last week, pulling the live and dressed cash markets with it. The October contract was trading at $122.20 Thursday and deferred contracts were trading in the same range. April seems to be where the next price advance is and was trading at $126.
Trade remained sluggish most of last week with only a few token packer bids of $116 live and $1.83- 1.84 dressed being passed by bullish feedlot managers asking $120 live and $1.90 dressed. "The way it looks right now, a $118/$1.86-$1.88 trade seems reasonable," according to Troy Vetterkind with Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage.
Fed cattle markets were slow to develop again last week. Futures markets were showing some strength early last week until Thursday when the news of a broader equity market sell-off took place, dragging nearly all commodities down.
Fed cattle trade was slow to develop last week after lackluster meat sales over the Labor Day weekend. Futures markets were stronger on live cattle, setting the stage for stronger fed trade later in the week.
Cash fed cattle trade was slow to develop last week coming into a Labor Day-shortened production week. Cattle feeders were offering cattle at $114 live and $181 dressed but packer offers were at $110-111 and $177-178, respectively. Trade was expected to be steady to $1 lower than the prior week.
Fed cattle prices dropped last week as a result of weakness in cash prices and decreased demand from the consumer segment. On the Plains, cattle traded for $112.50-113 live and $180-181 dressed. Corn Belt trade ranged from $179-$181 dressed and $113 live.
With the third-highest Aug. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that the number of cattle on feed in feedlots of 1,000 head or more in the U.S. rose to just above 10.6 million. This inventory was 8 percent above Aug.
Plains fed cattle traded last week at $113-$114 in Texas, with dressed sales in Nebraska at $182. Wednesdays negotiated cash trade was inactive on light demand in the southern Plains and Colorado and limited on light demand in Nebraska and the western Plains.
Fed cattle trade was opening with sharply higher prices last week as a surge in boxed beef prices and improving packer margins helped fuel the market. Although volume was light through midday last Thursday, early dressed trade had been reported on light volume at $185 and analysts were predicting that the volume live trade would
Cash fed cattle trade was slow to develop last week as cattle feeders held out for higher money. The light, early trade seemed to indicate the tactic was working, with the light volume trading at $109.50 to $111 in the Corn Belt, although there were not enough animals trading hands at midday last Thursday to call the week’s trend.