August cattle had a little bit of profit taking yesterday as the market closed at 121.25. This is a 38% retracement from the June 16th highs and the lows made on July 9th. Currently the Aug cattle contract is trading at a slight premium over cash, but the volume traded on the cash market this week so far has been extremely light giving the futures market any sort of guidance or indicator. Cash live cattle prices drifted lower on Wednesday, but the picture is mixed. In Nebraska 3,262 head traded at 117-120 at 123, down from an average price of 124.60 on Tuesday and 123.87 last week. Prices in other areas were lower. However, the 5-day, 5-area weighted average price as of Wednesday was 122.44, up from 121.33 a week ago. Slaughter weights are relatively light so it will be interesting to see if they stay at current levels or start to increase as we get into late summer. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 119,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 360,000 head, up from 247,000 last week and 350,000 a year ago. The USDA boxed beef cutout was up $2.45 at mid-session yesterday and closed 46 cents lower at $272.88. This was down from $284.90 the previous week and was the lowest the cutout had been since April 13.

Live Cattle Aug ’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.