Cattle Weekly Comments Feb. 23

Cattle Weekly Comments Feb. 23

Cattle traded in opposite directions this week with live cattle posting losses in each session while feeder cattle posted gains in each session of the short week. Overall pressure in the live cattle came from last week’s disappointing cash trade. Feeder cattle were supported by tight supplies and from another disappointing week in the grains.

Cattle opened the short week lower but managed to brush off the early selling pressure and push higher by midsession. Live cattle were the weakest performers due to last week’s disappointing cash activity, which took place as lower dollars. Tight supplies and position squaring ahead of Friday’s COF report supported feeder cattle.

Wednesday’s session continued to have cattle trading in opposite directions. Cattle traded in a back-and-forth fashion to start the session with pressure coming from the lack of a cash trade so far this week. Talk of packers slowing down slaughter runs added pressure. By mid-session both cattle contracts started to find footing and pushed higher. Support continues to come from expectations for tight supplies, which could be verified by this Friday’s COF report, especially if placements come in near the expectations of 88%, which would be the lowest placements estimate since 2007. A lower grain market added support.

Cattle opened Thursday’s session lower in both contracts with live cattle seeing pressure from the lack of a cash trade. Light selling was also tied to pressure from a firm grain complex. But cattle were able to shake off the early selling pressure and push higher with support coming from position squaring ahead of Friday’s COF report, which is expected to be friendly. Live cattle slipped back into the red going in the close with selling pressure tied to economic concerns and concerns about domestic demand. Feeder cattle turned higher due to support from a turn in the grain complex.

The Feb COF report was neutral to negative cattle. The On Feed and Marketing estimate came in as expected and although the Placement estimate was at 93%, an 8 year low, it was 5% above expectations. The numbers for the report are On Feed: 100% (as expected), Placed: 93% (5% above expectations), and Marketed: 100% (as expected).

For the week, Feb live cattle were at $185.60 up 82.5 cents. March feeder cattle were at $254.575 up $3.55.