Cattle Complete the Week’s Recovery

November 18th, 2023

After a back and forth week of trade, Friday’s triple digit gains cemented a weekly gain for the live cattle futures. The front month futures ended $1 to $1.47 higher on Friday, leaving Dec fats at a net $1.57 gain and Feb at a net $2.15 gain for the week. USDA confirmed Thursday’s cash trade was $175 to $178, with the bulk near $178. Feeder cattle closed $0.80 to $1 higher in pre-CoF positioning. Jan closed $2.07 higher for the week. CME’s Feeder Cattle Index for 11/15 was $228.76, up by 41 cents.

Commitment of Traders data showed the funds dumped 14.7k longs (~21%) in their live cattle holdings during the week of 11/14. Spec trader held longs have more than halved since mid Sep. The net position was 41,554 contracts net long. CFTC reported managed money was 1,359 contracts net long in feeders from 35 net short the Tuesday prior.

Monthly NASS data showed 11.931 million head of cattle were in 1,000+hd feedlots on Nov 1. That was a 1.66% increase from November ’22 inventory and lined up with the pre-report expectations. November placements were listed at 2.164m head, or 3.79% above last year. The trade was looking for a 4.9% increase on average. Cattle marketed in October totaled 1.758m head, a 2.55% drop from last year and slightly fewer than expected.

Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were mixed on Friday as Select increased $3.05 to $270.70, while Choice boxes were 85 cents weaker. That left the Chc/Sel spread at $23.17. were mixed in the Friday morning report, with Choice 94 cents weaker and Select $2.21 higher. USDA reported the week’s beef output at 529.2m lbs, from 514.2 last week an 561.7 during the same week last year. The year to date total reached 23.509 billion lbs, trailing last year by 3.5%. Slaughter was shown at 636k head for the week, 2.9% ahead of last week’s pace, but 5.4% lower than the same week last year. The YTD slaughter is 4.7% behind last year’s pace with 28.646 million head.

Dec 23 Cattle  closed at $175.750, up $1.000,

Feb 24 Cattle  closed at $176.800, up $1.475,

Apr 24 Cattle  closed at $178.425, up $1.325,

Nov 23 Feeder Cattle  closed at $228.640, down $0.735

Jan 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $228.500, up $1.000

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.


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