Cattle Futures Fade on Thursday


Alan Brugler, Barchart

May 5, 2022


Live cattle futures ended the session with triple digit losses of $0.80 to $1.12. That left June fats at $133.77, a $2.25 discount to August and an approximate $6 discount to spot cash prices. The bonus Thursday FCE auction resulted in no sales for the 1,939 head listed. Bids were capped at $139, with $141-$144 asks. USDA confirmed cash trade on Thursday was fairly light from $139 - $146. The bulk of activity for the South has been $140 this week with $142-$146 in the North. Feeder cattle gave back $0.92 to $1.92 on the day. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was another 2 cents weaker on 5/3 at $155.75.


FAS Export Sales data showed 14,585 MT of beef was sold during the week that ended 4/28. That was up 27% from last week, but still under the 15k MT sold two weeks back and the 17k MT from the same week last year. The report also had 20,338 MT of beef exports from the week, which was up 15% wk/wk and 10% yr/yr. Accumulated beef exports are outpacing last year by 2.4% with 309,0333 MT shipped out through 4/28.


Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were lower in the PM report from USDA. Choice faded by $4.56 to $255.18, while Select was down by $1.87. USDA estimated the week’s FI cattle slaughter as 487,000 head for the week through Thursday. That compares to 498k head last week and 471k head from the same week last year.


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