CME: April and June Cattle Close Lower, Thursday15 March 2013
US - Live cattle futures finished in the middle to lower end of the day's range with losses of 30 to 75 cents, write market analysts at ProFarmer.
Uncertainty with cash cattle trade for the week limited buying interest in live cattle futures again on Thursday. Given demand concerns, traders are taking a prove-it attitude as they await active cash cattle trade.
Selling interest was kept in check by weekly export sales of 31,500 MT, which were a marketing-year high.
April cattle closed moderately lower on the day while June closed lower but up about 70 points from the mid-session lows, write CME analysts.
Talk that packers may rely on contracted cattle this week and avoid paying higher in the cash market helped to spark more selling pressure early Thursday.
Stops were activated on the break as longs have seen plenty of disappointment this week. Beef prices pushed sharply higher in the past few weeks with select beef at a record high.
In addition, a surge in weekly export sales and continued talk that supply will tighten ahead had traders optimistic on cash trade this week. Some traders see the June and August discount as a positive factor which might limit the decline.
Weekly U.S. beef export sales for the week ending March 7th came in at 31,500 metric tonnes, compared with the prior 4-week average of 12,200.
Cumulative sales for 2013 have reached 236,500 metric tonnes, up 3.8 per cent from last year's pace.
Boxed-beef cut-out values at mid-session came in at $196.76, up 73 cents on the session and down from $196.90 last week at this time.
Cattle slaughter came in a bit higher than expected at 121,000 head.
TheCattleSite News Desk