The cattle market has traded at it’s highest levels since the late spring Covid-19 rally. This recent runup in prices has traders optimistic that the packers will come in and start bidding up cash live cattle this week. The cold storage report was a bit bearish but the market had shrugged off that news and concentrated on the strong cash news. The USDA boxed beef cutout was up $2.69 at mid-session yesterday and closed $2.70 higher at $244.30. This was up from $233.72 the previous week and the highest the market has been since June 9. If you disregard May’s Covid rally to a record-high $475.39, prices are at their highest since March and are approaching their second highest since June 2017. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 122,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 242,000 head, up from 240,000 last week and 229,000 a year ago. Cash live cattle trade is starting out slow this week. As of Tuesday afternoon, the only location reporting was Iowa/Minnesota, which had 1,249 head trading at 109-110 and an average price of 109.74. A strong beef price trend is keeping a bid under the live cattle market. February support is at 111.27, with resistance at 115.45. Look for choppy to higher trade short-term.