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CME:April Futures Close Slightly Higher, Thursday

01 March 2013

US - Live cattle futures enjoyed light follow through most of the day, but futures softened into the close to finish narrowly mixed, write market analysts at ProFarmer.

The February contract expired 55 cents lower at $128.00 by Thursday's close.

Most expect firmer cash cattle trade this week as the boxed beef market is thought to have put in a seasonal low and already lower showlist estimates were likely made even tighter by the winter storm in the Southern and Central Plains this week.

April cattle managed to close slightly higher on the day with quiet trade as the move over Wednesday highs failed to attract new buyers and the market set-back into Wednesday's range, according to experts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

August cattle closed higher and near the highs and saw the highest close since February 19th. Weak export sales and new deliveries might have limited the advance and February cattle closed 55 lower on the day at 128.00 after first moving to the highest level since mid-January.

The surge in beef prices this week and talk that this should result in higher cash cattle trade ahead has helped to provide underlying support. Weekly export sales totaled just 3,900 tonnes as compared with the prior 4-week average of 12,800 tonnes.

Cumulative sales for this year reached 189,600 tonnes, down 9 per cent from last year's pace. Cattle slaughter came in well below trade expectations at just 113,000 head which might suggest that feedlots are (or where) have more difficulty with the weather situation than traders expected.

Boxed beef cutout values were up 73 cents at mid-session on Wednesday, up from $182.35 the prior week. Select beef was up $.67 to $185.54 from $180.20 last week.

Daily Livestock Report - Copyright © 2008 CME. All rights reserved.

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