Cattle Midweek Recap

Market Recap:

Cattle futures ended the day on a down note, extending losses from yesterday. Live cattle (LE) contracts closed at an average of $1.20 to $2.12 per hundredweight (cwt), with nearby contracts experiencing the steepest declines. This decline in live cattle prices was primarily driven by a decrease in demand and increased selling pressure. Feeder Cattle contracts also finished lower, dropping $1.95 to $3.10 per cwt. This drop in feeder cattle prices was mainly due to a decrease in feed prices and concerns about the future supply of cattle.

Key Drivers:

  • Cash Cattle Trade: There was limited reported cash cattle trade today. However, a few sales in the South emerged at $182 per cwt, steady with last week. This lack of solid buying activity is likely fueling some of the weaknesses in the future.
  • Technical Selling: The recent price rally in live cattle may have triggered some technical selling, with traders taking profits and pushing prices lower.
  • External Pressures: Broader market sentiment across commodities remained slightly bearish, potentially putting additional downward pressure on cattle futures.

Looking Ahead:

  • Packer Demand: Monitoring slaughter rates and packer buying activity will be crucial in the near term. Any signs of increased slaughter could support prices.
  • Export Developments: Continued strength in U.S. beef exports, particularly to China and Japan, would be a positive factor for the market.
  • Technical Support: If live cattle futures can hold above key support levels around $180 per cwt, it could not only help to stabilize the market but also potentially lead to a rebound, offering a promising opportunity for profit.

Trading Strategies:

  • Short-Term: The immediate outlook for cattle futures is uncertain. Cautious traders might wait for signs of a bottom before entering new positions.
  • Long-Term: The long-term fundamentals for cattle remain relatively buoyant, driven by global protein demand and a potentially tightening domestic herd. However, near-term volatility is likely to persist.


The cattle market, despite the current headwinds, has demonstrated resilience. While short-term price fluctuations are expected, the long-term outlook remains constructive. Vigilant monitoring of critical drivers and technical indicators will be essential for navigating the market in the coming days and weeks, instilling a sense of stability.

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