Cash cattle seems to be a slow-go recently with the futures market still holding a large premium over the cash. One of the main reasons has been disappointing export sales the past couple weeks. For the USDA Cattle on Feed report today, traders see placements for the month of September near 101.4% of last year in the 97.5-104 range. Marketing’s are expected near 97.5% of last year, 97-98.9 range. Total Cattle-on-Feed for October 1 is expected near 99.4%, 98.6-100 range. US beef export sales for the week ending October 14 came in at 7,809 tonnes for 2021 delivery and net cancellations of 196 tonnes for 2022 for an overall net of 7,613. This was down from 15,449 the previous week and lowest since last November. The average of the previous four weeks is 16,492. Cumulative sales for 2021 have reached 920,100 tonnes, up from 797,500 a year ago and the largest on record. The five-year average is 735,500. The USDA boxed beef cutout was up 44- cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 63 cents higher at $280.66. This was up from $280.32 the previous week. Cash live cattle prices appear to be holding about a 50-cent premium over last week. There was some light trade on Thursday at or inside the ranges from Wednesday’s heavy-volume day. As of Thursday afternoon, the 5-day, 5-area weighted average price was 124.27, up from 123.82 a week ago. Fourth quarter production is expected to decline from last year’s fourth quarter, but the decline is less than 1%. The USDA estimated cattle slaughter came in at 120,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 482,000 head, up from 480,000 last week and 479,000 a year ago.

Live Cattle Dec ’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.