Mon 04 Feb 2013 15:03:13 CT
April cattle closed just slightly higher on the day but well off of the early highs. More weakness in the beef market plus short-term weather plus more profit-taking selling from specs helped to pressure the market after the strong gains early in the day. The market saw very strong gains early in the pit session today trading up as much as 102 points on the day but was up just 30 points into the mid-session. Ideas that the supply will continue to dwindle in the weeks and months ahead plus a positive tilt to the Inventory report on Friday helped to support the market early. Ideas that the higher volume trade in boxed-beef for late last week might be a sign that the market is clearing up any backlog of beef in the pipeline helped to provide some support. On the other hand, it took a beef price dive to the lowest level since August to entice the more active beef trade and this was seen as a negative demand factor. Talk of slower restaurant interest from consumers this year plus weak consumer sentiment readings and fears that higher taxes, higher gasoline prices and slow employment growth added to the negative demand tone. Boxed-beef cut-out values were down 42 cents at mid-session to $182.14 which is down from $187.61 last week. Slaughter for today came in right on expectations at 115,000 head. This is down from 126,000 head last week as packers appear to be cutting back on slaughter in order to boost beef prices.
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