Cattle Close Lower, USDA Shows 5-Year Low in April Beef Stocks

Live cattle futures saw 20 to 55 cent losses in most contracts on Wednesday. Feeder cattle futures were steady to 40 cents lower, with soon to expire May up $1.075. After Wednesday’s close, the Cold Storage report indicated 430.35 million lbs of beef were in coolers at the end of April, which is a 5-year low. That is down 4.78% from March and down 8.66% from a year ago. The CME feeder cattle index was down 9 cents to $132.16 on May 21. Wholesale boxed beef prices were mixed on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 17 cents at $219.75 with Select boxes down 77 cents @ $205.81. USDA estimated this week’s FI cattle slaughter at 360,000 head through Wednesday. That was down 3,000 head from last Monday but up 1,000 from the same week last year. A few cash sales of $115 have been reported in the South so far on Wednesday, with $185-186 in the north. Friday’s Cattle on Feed report is expected to show May 1 on feed numbers up about 2.9% (average of traders surveyed) from a year ago at 11.893 million head.

Jun 19 Cattle closed at $110.650, down $0.200,

Aug 19 Cattle closed at $107.950, down $0.325,

Oct 19 Cattle closed at $107.800, down $0.500,

May 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $135.450, up $1.075

Aug 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $142.600, down $0.400

Sep 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $143.875, down $0.300

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

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