Cattle Set New Highs for the Move on Thursday

Family outside of cow pen cattle pasture

Cattle futures were back to challenging the 61.8% retracement from their LoC highs to the Dec low on Thursday. The board settled off the session highs, but still triple digits higher with gains of as much as $1.77. Front month feeder cattle were also higher on Thursday, closing up by as much as $1.30. USDA confirmed some light cash business on Thursday near $179 in the WCB. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was $1.49 higher on 2/7, now at $242.11.

Weekly Export Sales had 20.6k MT of beef booked during the week that ended 2/1. That was a 24% increase from the week prior led by sales to South Korea and China. Beef shipments for the week were shown at 16k MT for a 69.5k MT yearly pace – compared to 75k MT last year. 

The WASDE update showed a 75 million lb increase for beef production in 2024 to 26.185 billion lbs. They pushed 110 million lbs from the first half of the year to the second half and added another 75 million lbs mainly to Q4.

USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef prices for Thursday were shown at $295.01 for Choice, 3 cents stronger, and at $284.12 for Select, $1.30 weaker. USDA cited the FI cattle slaughter at 501k head for the week through Thursday. That is 4k head behind last week by 10k more than the same week last year. 

Feb 24 Cattle  closed at $183.775, up $1.550,

Apr 24 Cattle  closed at $186.575, up $1.775,

Jun 24 Cattle  closed at $183.725, up $1.525,

Mar 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $246.850, up $1.300

Apr 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $251.925, up $0.725

On the date of publication, Alan Brugler did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.