Live cattle futures closed the Friday session with losses of $0.72 to $2.45, with April the firmest and June the weakest. Through the week, the April/June spread corrected from a $2.25 discount to an 85 cent premium. USDA confirmed some more $125 trade in the WCB on Friday, for the week cash trades ranged $120 - $125 with the bulk near $123. Feeder cattle futures closed Friday with $1.45 to $2.37 losses. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was up 28 cents on 4/6 at $139.98.
USDA shifted quarterly beef production, decrease Q1 and Q2 by a combined 95m lbs, but increasing Q3 and Q4 production by 90 and 65 million respectively. On net, 2021 beef production was forecasted 60m lbs higher to 27.640 billion lbs.
Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were higher on Friday, adding $1.67 to Choice at $272.17. Select boxes were up 24 cents to $264.07 cwt. USDA’s estimate for the week’s FI cattle slaughter is 641,000 head. That is up significantly from both last week and last year, as Easter played a role.
CFTC data showed live cattle buying interest from spec traders during the week ending 4/6. The group added 9,815 longs for most open longs since January of 2020 @ 107,190. Accounting for the spec shorts, managed money was 91,884 contracts net long in cattle on 4/6.
Apr 21 Cattle closed at $123.425, down $0.725,
Aug 21 Cattle closed at $122.400, down $1.625,
Apr 21 Feeder Cattle closed at $144.750, down $2.375
May 21 Feeder Cattle closed at $149.625, down $1.975