Cattle Settled Mixed Ahead of the USDA CoF Release

Close up of cow looking at camera

Live cattle futures were cautiously 12 cents lower to 17 cents higher at the Friday settlement, awaiting the USDA Cattle on Feed report after the close. Cash trade was the week saw action at $187 in the south, with trade in the north mainly at $192, with some coming in at $193.50. Feeder cattle were weaker, down $.67 to $1.22 and higher corn and lower LC were not a bullish combination for the walking inputs. The CME Feeder Cattle index was up another $1.33 on May 23 to $250.14. 

Cattle on Feed data from Friday showed April placements down 5.8% at 1.656 million head, as April Marketings were up 10.12% to 1.872 million head. That tool the May 1 on feed inventory to 11.554 million head, now down 0.86% from last year. Cold Storage data was also released showing 430.683 million lbs of beef in stocks at the end of April. That was a drop of 0.88% from the previous month and 4.73% below a year ago (vs. the 9.06% yr/yr drop in the month prior).

USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were back higher on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 61 cents at $310.45, with Select $1.64 higher to $301.72. The Chc/Sel spread is now at $8.73 USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter at 117,000 head for Friday, bringing the weekly total to 607,000 head including Saturday. That is up 9,000 head from last week but 14,295 head below the same week last year. 

Jun 24 Live Cattle  closed at $183.700, up $0.175,

Aug 24 Live Cattle  closed at $181.125, up $0.050,

Oct 24 Live Cattle  closed at $183.950, down $0.125,

Aug 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $260.225, down $1.225,

Sep 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $261.750, down $0.975,

Oct 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $262.550, down $0.775,

On the date of publication, Alan Brugler did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.