Even though we’ve seen a decent bounce from yesterday’s session, weakness still remains in the April cattle market. On the cash side of things, the USDA boxed beef cutout was down 8-cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 36-cents lower at $240.39. This was up from $238.85 the previous week. Cash live cattle traded steady with last week in most regions, except Iowa/Minnesota, which was higher. In Iowa/Minnesota 469 head traded at 112.25-117 and an average price of 115.29, up from an average of 114.50 last week. In Kansas, 238 traded at 114 versus an average of 113.99 last week. In Nebraska, 1,929 head traded at 114 versus an average of 113.76 last week. In Texas/Oklahoma, 41 head traded at 114 versus an average of 114 last week.
US beef export sales for the week ending February 18 came in at 8,470 tonnes, down from 22,868 the previous week and the lowest since December 31. Cumulative sales have reached 334,189 tonnes, up from 271,753 a year ago and the highest on record. The five-year average is 214,730 tonnes. The largest buyer this week was South Korea at 3,832 tonnes, closely followed by Japan at 3,098. The next largest buyer was Mexico at 687 tonnes. China cancelled 960. South Korea has the most commitments for 2021 at 95,349 tonnes, followed by Japan at 70,371, China at 43,536, and Hong Kong at 43,228. I would still be looking for this market to trend lower and have a price target range around the next level of support which looks to be around $120. With China cancelling a lot of their orders, this could send the market into further bear territory, on the other hand all we needs is some good fundamental news coming out of the CCP in.