Cattle Prices Fading through Friday

Cows looking out from pen ear tagged

The in-delivery Feb cattle contract is up by 32 cents for midday as OI continues to dwindle. There are still no deliveries issued against Feb cattle, as CME confirmed the oldest dated long is now 9/14. The other front month futures are 17 to 42 cents in the red through Friday so far. Feeder cattle are trading 20 cents to $1.12 weaker at midday. 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.

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 were lower in the Friday morning update with an 87c drop for Chocie and a $1.34 dip in Select. The Chc/Sel spread widened to $11.36. 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  are at $184.325, up $0.550,

April 24 Cattle  are at $186.275, down $0.300,

Jun 24 Cattle  are at $183.550, down $0.175,

Cash Cattle Index was $178.740, from $178.74 last week

Mar 24 Feeder Cattle  are at $246.925, up $0.075

April 24 Feeder Cattle  are at $251.500, down $0.425


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.