Yesterday, August cattle gave back all of its early gains to finish just slightly higher on the day. As of right now, there is a weak beef market and it is showing in the cash market with prices in the mid to high 90s, but traders seem to feel that he cash market is in a short-term bottom regardless of the weak demand. Cash live cattle traded moderately higher in Kansas on Thursday and mostly steady to weaker elsewhere. In Kansas 1158 head traded at $94-$98 and an average price of $95.94, up from $94.60 the previous day. In Nebraska 961 head traded at an average price of $96.40 vs $96.26 the previous day, and in Texas/Oklahoma 170 head traded $94 vs an average price of $94.91 the previous day. As I have been saying the past couple months, we should be keeping an eye on the slaughter numbers during this reopening period, slaughter numbers have been well above expectation during the duration and therefore production has been well above expectations. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 120,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 474,000 head, down from 484,000 last week and down from 476,000 a year ago. 97.5 looks to be a good target on the downside where support would come into play but with the current conditions and possible reclosing of restaurants over the next month, we could see the prices trend lower.

Live Cattle Aug ’20 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.