Cattle Market Basis Strength Continues

The last trade day of the week had April cattle futures down the expanded limit, and they will trade with expanded limits again on Monday. April cattle futures were still $2.30 higher Fri/Fri after 4 limit move days out of five! Feeder cattle futures were down the expanded limit in the front months. May feeders posted a $2.67 gain for the week. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was up another $1.94 to $130.44 on 03/26. Cash cattle trade was $117 to $120.50 last week, with the bulk at $120. Dressed trades were $188 to $190. The Commitment of Traders report on Friday showed cattle spec funds flipped net short for only the 4th time on record (going back to June 2006). Managed money was 1,608 contracts net short in feeder cattle, which was 1,112 contracts less short wk/wk. Afternoon boxed beef prices were mixed, with the Chc/Sel spread tighter to $10.46. Choice boxes were $252.84 cwt., down $0.73. Select boxes were $242.38 cwt., up $0.21. USDA estimated the week’s FI cattle slaughter at 676,000 head. That is 57,000 head more that the same week last year. YTD slaughter is estimated at 8.012 million head, 203,000 head higher yr/yr. Estimated YTD beef production through 03/28 is 6.634 billion lbs, that is up 4.8% yr/yr. Total red meat production is up 10.9% yr/yr. --- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

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