Cattle Prices Close Mixed on Weaker Fats


Alan Brugler, Barchart

May 6, 2022


Live cattle futures closed the last trade day of the week with $0.45 to $1.02 losses. Feeder cattle however were up 32 to 77 cents on the day. USDA noted some light catch up trade in NE for Friday, but maintained the bulk prices for the week as $138 - $140 for the South and $146 in the WCB.  The CME Feeder Cattle Index was $155.59 on 5/4, down by 16 cents.


The weekly Commitment of Traders update showed the funds were 16,387 contracts less net long in live cattle futures and options, as new short sellers added to the longs selling back. Managed money funds were still 38,897 contracts net long as of the 5/3 settle. Spec traders were also selling feeder cattle through the week, extending their net short by 261 contracts to 3,530.


Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were weaker in USDA’s PM report. Choice was down 74 cents to $254.44, while Select was 75 cents weaker at $245.06. USDA estimated the cattle slaughter for the week through Saturday at 657k head. That is up 8,000 from last week and 18,000 head from the same week last year. Through Saturday the USDA estimated 11.658m head of cattle were slaughter under federal inspection, which is 0.5% ahead of last year’s pace.


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