The cattle market is continuing to show signs of strength with cash cattle trending higher this week and last. With what is going on with cash prices, we are starting to Apr cattle trade higher along with the June futures. Traders expect to see the June futures to start forming a top as it has continually reached [and eventually took out] every swing point in the market. Packers have been bidding about $4 higher and those bids are being sold by some feedlots fearing that they might not be able to move cattle next week or get a more competitive bid. Strong boxed beef prices indicate demand is surging as consumers want beef for grilling and restaurants want beef to satisfy customer demand. Packers need to purchase cattle and are hopeful bidding $4.00 higher early may get the job done.
The USDA boxed beef cutout was up $3.30 at mid-session yesterday and closed $4.10 higher at $262.77. This was up from $244.83 the previous week and the highest the cutout had been since June 4. Cash live cattle continues to trend higher. In Kansas, 1,187 head traded at $121.00, up from $116.00-$118.00 last week. June cattle traded moderately higher on the session yesterday and posted contract highs for the third session in a row. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 120,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 225,000 head, down from 239,000 last week but up from 212,000 a year ago.

Live Cattle Apr ’19 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.