Cattle Futures - Live Cattle Settle Higher

US - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle settled higher on cash speculation, spreaders who bought June and sold August and positioning on the eve of Friday's cattle data.
calendar icon 18 April 2008
clock icon 1 minute read
Feeder cattle closed sharply higher, while hogs and bellies posted losses.

Beef futures initially gained on much-improved wholesale beef demand and lucrative estimated packer profit margins that fueled talk of higher cash prices this week compared with last week.

Live-basis fed cattle bids surfaced on Thursday at $86 per hundredweight against $90-$92 asking prices. Some cattle in the Plains last week reached $88.50.

Corn's upturn in overnight Chicago Board of Trade activity at first provided a lift to back-month cattle. Cattle contracts remained higher throughout the morning in spite of the later decline in CBOT corn.

Also, speculative longs laid a foundation beneath rear cattle months based on forecasts for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly cattle-on-feed survey, due Friday at 3 p.m. EDT. The following are analysts' average estimates and ranges for the data in percentages of a year ago:

. Average of Estimates
Range of Estimates
On Feed in April
Placed in March
Marketed in March

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