June cattle had a very tight range yesterday and the lower slaughter numbers helped support the market. JBS packing numbers are back to full strength, but there were thoughts that beef may have spoiled during the waiting process. Looking at the market going forward, June cattle looks to make a surge higher if it can make a breakthrough the 118 price level. If we see a breakout, then the next upside target would be to 120. The USDA boxed beef cutout was up $1.36 at mid-session yesterday and closed 39 cents higher at $340.55. This was up from $329.49 the previous week and was the highest since June 1, 2020. Cash live cattle continue to trade steady against last week. In Kansas on Thursday, 2,818 head traded at 119-120 with an average price of 119.58 versus an average of 119.56 last week. In Nebraska 3,012 head traded at 120 versus and average of 119.99 last week. With surging beef prices in the past month, packers have been able to buy live inventory at steady prices and this leaves packers with massive profit margins and may encourage steady or higher cash cattle again next week. June cattle is still trading discount to the cash market which has traded near the 119.50-120.00 level this week. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 120,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 321,000 head, down from 478,000 last week and down from 453,000 a year ago.

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.