Cattle Market Analysis – March 22, 2024


  • Live cattle prices in the north are reported at $190-$191.50 per hundredweight (cwt), with dressed sales at $300-$310 cwt (mostly at $303).
  • Live cattle prices in the south are mainly at $188 cwt, which is $2 higher than last week.


  • Cash cattle prices are up slightly this week, with some reports indicating sales $2-3 higher than previous weeks.
  • Cattle futures prices softened slightly, except for the very near-term contracts, in anticipation of a potentially high placement number in tomorrow’s Cattle on Feed report.
  • Slaughter volumes increased slightly this week compared to the previous low but remained below last year’s levels.
  • Carcass weights are down slightly from last week but still significantly heavier than last year.
  • Beef processors are still struggling with profit margins due to insufficient box price increases.

Key factors to watch:

  • Tomorrow’s Cattle on Feed report, which is expected to show larger placements compared to last year.
  • Continued pressure on processor margins and potential impact on cattle buying.

The cattle market shows tentative optimism with slight price increases for live cattle. However, this is tempered by anticipation of potentially high placement numbers in tomorrow’s report, which could lead to a supply increase and pressure processor margins, potentially dampening future cattle buying.

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