RJO FuturesCast

Daily Futures Market News, Commentary, & Insight

April cattle had a push down to its lowest level we’ve seen since Jan 2019. Compare that to the June cattle, which looks to have some strong demand coming from a passing of the 1.9 trillion-dollar stimulus package plus an increasing number of vaccinations leading to the country to start opening up more and having more opportunity to spend. Another factor in the support of June cattle prices is the possibility of a major winter storm into the feedlot regions which could bring up top 3 feet of snow and slow down beef production while also bringing down weights. In Iowa/Minnesota, 505 head were reported at 112 versus an average of 112.25 on 5,843 head on Wednesday. In Nebraska, 632 head were reported at 112-112.50 with an average price of 112.11 versus an average of 113.38 on 9,673 head on Wednesday. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 118,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 481,000 head, down from 485,000 last week and 491,000 a year ago. US beef export sales for the week ending March 4 came in at 20,873 tonnes, down from 22,615 the previous week but up from 8,470 the week before that. The average of the previous four weeks is 17,874 tonnes. Average dressed steer weights for the week ending February 27 came in at 899 pounds, down from 909 the previous week but up from 897 a year ago. The 5-year average weekly weight for that week is 883.4. The USDA boxed beef cutout was up 18 cents at mid-session yesterday but closed 62 cents lower at $226.67. This was down from $233.88 the previous week and was the lowest the cutout had been since March 10. Cash live cattle were a bit lower on Thursday, but the traded volume reported as of the afternoon was quite light, perhaps not enough for an adequate test.

Live Cattle Jun ’21 Daily Chart

Peter McGinn

Peter graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Economics. Peter started his career with an IB at the Chicago Board of Trade. He then moved on to TradeStation Securities for a time before starting as a Market Strategist at RJO Futures in 2018.