Yesterday’s market moves were eye opening to say the least with most of the AG markets being down anywhere between 5-7%. The cattle market specifically experienced a massive long liquidation sell-off that was primarily led by other outside market forces. After we get the bookings done for July 4th, beef prices usually trend to the downside but with the year we are seeing this might not happen with demand factors giving this market support. Cash prices are still looking strong and trending higher but traders are expecting a short term downside with the market being in slightly overbought territory and the outside market forces putting pressure on the market. Cash live cattle are trading higher this week. The 5-area weighted average price on Thursday was 123.44 versus 120.00 last week. In Nebraska 1,176 head traded at 124. August cattle closed sharply lower on the session and gave back all of the gains of the previous 2 sessions yesterday and a bit more.

US beef export sales for the week ending June 10 came in at 12,828 tonnes, down from 16,075 the previous week and below the average of the previous four weeks at 19,984. Cumulative sales for 2021 have reached 646,076 tonnes, up from 484,275 a week ago and the highest on record. The five-year average is 462,601. The largest buyer this week was Japan at 4,379 tonnes, followed by China at 3,581, South Korea at 1,707, and Taiwan at 1,217. South Korea has purchased the most from the US so far in 2021 at 175,493 tonnes, followed by Japan at 158,210 and China at 102,402. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 120,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 477,000 head, up from 476,000 last week and 471,000 a year ago. For the month of May, China beef imports from all locations reached 170,000 tons, up 17.3% from a year ago. This pushed year-to-date beef imports to 970,000 tons, up 18.6% from last year’s pace.

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.