Cattle Keep Rally Moving on Wednesday

Cows in pen looking at camera

Live cattle are keeping the line moving as we move through midweek trade, up 80 cents to $1.25 in most contracts at midday. Cash trade this week has been quiet so far, with a few light trades of $192 in the north being picked up. The Wednesday Fed Cattle Exchange from the Central Stockyards saw 532 head of the 1,344 listed selling in a range of $187-188.25, all out of TX. Feeder cattle are posting Wednesday gains of $1.15 to $2.55 at midday. The CME Feeder Cattle index was up 88 cents on May 20 to $247.75. The basis is firming ahead of contract expiration, with May futures now less than $2 premium the cash.

The average trade estimates for Friday’s Cattle on Feed report put April placements down 6.1% from last year, with April marketings up 9.8%. That would leave the May 1 on feed inventory down 0.8% from May 2023. 

USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef prices slipped back lower in the Wednesday morning report. Choice boxes were down 93 cents at $312.09, with Select 78 cents lower to $300.09. That narrowed the Chc/Sel spread to $12.00. Tuesday’s estimated FI cattle slaughter was at 122,000 head by the USDA, taking the weekly total to 242,000 head. That is up 3,000 head from last week but down 11,357 head below the same week last year. 

Jun 24 Live Cattle  are at $183.750, up $0.775,

Aug 24 Live Cattle  are at $181.275, up $0.850,

Oct 24 Live Cattle  are at $184.175, up $1.025,

May 24 Feeder Cattle  are at $250.100, up $1.150

Aug 24 Feeder Cattle  are at $262.375, up $2.550

Sep 24 Feeder Cattle  are at $263.375, up $2.250

On the date of publication, Alan Brugler did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.