Cattle Weekly Comments

Cattle Weekly Comments

Live cattle started the week with gains but then faded the market for the rest of the week. Feeder cattle had better luck trading higher for the first three sessions of the week, but then fading lower to close out the week Thursday.

Both cattle contracts started the week on the plus side with many contracts setting new contract highs in the process. Early support came from a lower grain complex. Light support was due to reports of a strong cash trade late in the session Friday as most of the cleanup cash activity took place between $163 and $167. A stronger boxed beef market added support. Strong demand from feedlots and a lower corn market gave feeder cattle strength to push to another round of new contract highs.

Tuesday’s session had live cattle pushing lower while feeder cattle held onto small gains. Technical pressure hit the live cattle market hard due to economic concerns. Fed Chairman’s comments to Congress did not sit well with the markets as most now have the expectation that the Fed will increase interest rates .5% next week. The lack of a cash trade added pressure. Feeder cattle were supported by the lower corn market but gains were kept in check from the weaker live cattle.

Cattle traded in opposite directions midweek with live cattle losing ground while feeder cattle pushed higher. Macro-economic concerns added to the pressure in the live cattle market while feeder was supported by the lower grains and strong demand for feedlot replacements. Chairman Powell’s comments to Congress continued to influence the live cattle. The signal the Fed is sending that it is likely the Fed will need to make significant increases to rates to fight inflation. USDA lower beef production 170 million pounds to 26.67 billion pounds.

Both cattle contracts slipped into the red to close out the week Thursday. Early selling pressure was due to technical selling as traders try to correct an overbought market condition. Light selling was due to economic concerns as traders took premium out of the cattle markets ahead of Friday employment report. Light selling was also due to pressure from a poor export sales estimate. Last week’s beef export sales estimate was estimated at 5,570 MT. The lower grains limited selling pressure.

For the week, April live cattle was at $164.275 down $1.15. March feeder cattle were at $191.475 up $1.475.