Cattle Futures - Live Cattle Climb

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle settled higher Thursday on cash anticipation for this week, fund buying and April/June forward spreading.
calendar icon 25 January 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Live cattle perked up at the start heated by short covering and February and April's oversold Relative Strength Index conditions. Chicago Board of Trade corn's rebound emboldened back-month cattle buyers.

Wednesday's cattle slaughter slippage inspired bullish traders who think fewer animals will be available for packers this week. However, bearish participants argue that processors will make up Wednesday's shortfall during the coming days.

Nearby April picked up additional ground after the contract punched through 10-day moving average resistance, which triggered stops and engaged fund buyers.

Wholesale beef demand's languid pace did little to dissuade bullish traders on Thursday. But beef's movement might be an issue Friday as fed cattle buyers and sellers come closer to striking a deal for this week's cash supplies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's midday boxed-beef item reported choice cuts dropped $0.63 per hundredweight and select items were quoted down $0.11.

Also on Friday, market participants may use caution before USDA's monthly cattle-on-feed report that day at 3 p.m. EST. The following are analysts' estimates in percentages of a year ago:

. Average of Estimates Range of Estimates
On Feed in Jan
Placed in Dec
Marketed in Dec

Feeder cattle ended mostly lower on profit-taking by longs after recent rallies, CBOT feedgrain's snap back and spreaders who sold March and bought January.

February live cattle closed 67 points higher at 91.12 cents a pound, and April ended 82 points higher at 94.45 cents.

January feeders closed 45 points higher at 98.80 cents a pound, and March ended down 32 points at 102.70 cents.

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