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Market Trends: Cattle Prices on a Downward Spiral

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Market Recap: Midweek Decline

After a brief surge in buying on Turnaround Tuesday, live cattle futures saw a decline, closing with losses ranging from 42 to 87 cents. This downward trend has left futures down by $4 to $6 for the week. Feeder cattle also struggled on Wednesday, experiencing triple-digit losses with some prices dropping as much as $2.55. The USDA reported cash sales around $186 to $187 for the day, reflecting a $1 to $3 drop compared to the previous week. The CME’s Feeder Cattle index slipped by $0.54, settling at $247.73 as of 4/2.

USDA Reports and Slaughter Estimates

On Wednesday, USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef prices took a hit with Choice down by $2.86 and Select declining by $2.07. The USDA’s cattle slaughter estimate for the week through Wednesday stood at 352k head, 15k lower than the previous week and down by 17k head from the same period last year.

Closing Numbers

As the market closed, the figures stood as follows for various cattle:

  • Apr 24 Cattle closed at $180.925, down $0.850
  • Jun 24 Cattle closed at $175.600, down $0.775
  • Aug 24 Cattle closed at $172.700, down $0.425
  • Apr 24 Feeder Cattle closed at $240.950, down $2.550
  • May 24 Feeder Cattle closed at $242.575, down $2.275

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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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