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Challenges Persist for Cattle Futures

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Market Fluctuations and Price Movements

Front month fat cattle are currently trading slightly above their midday lows, still showing a downward trend ranging from 20 to 60 cents as of Wednesday. In a challenging week, the June contract is particularly struggling, sitting at a significant $5.22 deficit. Feeder cattle have also been affected, with mixed but mostly lower prices hovering within 30c of unchanged by midday.

Price Discrepancies and Trading Activity

The lack of cash activity reported by the USDA for the week until Tuesday has added to the uncertainty in the market. Last weekโ€™s cash trade indicated prices around $188 in the South and approximately $190 in the North โ€“ figures that currently stand noticeably higher than the April futures. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 3/25 weakened by 7 cents, settling at $251.63.

Insights from the Market

Boxed Beef prices experienced a decrease for Wednesday, with Choice down by $1.22 and Select by $1.05. Notably, rib primals were listed at $468.86 cwt. and $463.33 cwt. respectively. The latest FI cattle slaughter recorded 125k head on Tuesday, making a weekly total of 243k head. Comparatively, this figure is on par with the previous week but slightly lower than the same period last yearโ€™s 250k head.

April 24 Cattleย ย are currently at $182.850, down $0.250, while Jun 24 Cattleย ย stand at $177.725, down $0.650. Aug 24 Cattleย ย are at $176.000, down $0.425, and the Cash Cattle Indexย was reported at $188.000, compared to $185.40 last week. Meanwhile, Mar 24 Feeder Cattleย ย are at $247.950, up $0.225.

April 24 Feeder Cattleย ย are priced at $245.700, up $0.250.

On the date of publication, Alan Brugler had no positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. The information provided is purely for informational purposes. For further details, please refer to the Barchart Disclosure Policy.

The expressed views and opinions in this article are those of the author and may not necessarily align with those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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