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CME update: live cattle futures slip ahead of monthly USDA report

21 January 2021

US live cattle futures fell on 20 January as traders anticipate a decline in cattle placements in the monthly Cattle on Feed report, but feeder futures benefit from lower feed-grain futures.

Reuters reports that CME live cattle slipped ahead of the 22 January Cattle on Feed report from the US Department of Agriculture which is expected to show placements of 1.773 million head, down 3 percent and larger marketings of 1.845 million head, according to a Reuters survey of analysts.

"We're looking for less numbers on feed, year over year," said Scott Varilek, a broker at Kooima & Kaemingk Commodities Inc. He noted that heavier weights have offset the impact of smaller numbers.

 

"We had so much extra weight on them [last year] that we never really got to see what tighter numbers meant."

CME April live cattle futures ended 0.475 cents lower at 118.875 cents per pound.

Daily cattle slaughter continues to lag behind a year ago, with 120,000 head processed on Wednesday, down 1.6 percent compared to the same day in 2020.

Boxed beef cut-out values strengthened, with select cuts gaining for a fifth consecutive session, adding 84 cents per cwt to $207.28 and choice cuts adding $1.42 to $218.91 per cwt, according to the USDA.

Feeder cattle futures also benefited from softer feed-grain futures, with March feeder cattle gaining 0.725 cent to settle at 137.525 cents.

Read more about this story here.

Source: Reuters



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