Cattle Traders Getting Prepped for CoF Data

Close up of brown cow in pasture

Live cattle posted some strength on Thursday, with contracts up anywhere from a nickel to $1.05. Cash action has been quiet so far this week. There have still been no deliveries against April futures. The Central Stockyards Fed Cattle Exchange saw no sales on the 1,376 head listed this morning, with bids at $180-182 and asks still at $184. Feeders were the leaders with the weaker corn action, as contracts were up $1.17 to $2.27 on the day. The CME Feeder Cattle index was back down 28 cents on April 17 to $242.35. 

Export Sales data showed an improved 17,745 MT of beef export bookings for the week of 4/11. Shipments were at a MY high of 16,702 MT, with 4,700 MT to Japan and 4,600 MT to South Korea.

Cattle on Feed data will be released after the close this afternoon, with the trade expecting to see March placements down 7% from a year ago. Marketings during the month are projected to be 11.9% lower vs. March 2023. April 1 on feed inventory is seen up 2.1% from last year. 

USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were lower again in the Thursday PM report. Choice boxes were down another $1.01 to $295.80, with Select $1.61 lower to $289.27. That took the Chc/Sel spread to $6.53. Thursday’s USDA estimated cattle slaughter was pegged at 118,000, taking the week to date total to 487,000 head. That is up 5,000 head from the previous week and down 17,998 head from the same week last year. 

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.