Cattle Futures Retreat At Month End

Fats weakened on the first trade day of the week, but feeders found Monday strength with lower feed costs. Live cattle futures fell back 22 to 45 cents on the day, and Dec was below last weeks average cash trade. Feeder cattle closed up triple digits in Jan and 62 to 97 cents stronger in the other front months. The 11/27 CME Feeder Cattle Index was $138.90, up $1.35 from the previous day. Cash trade for the week has yet to take hold, last week action was mostly $111, and $174 in the beef. CFTC data showed that there were 63,887 long and 23,864 spec fund shorts on 11/24. That was a 2,089 contract increase to the net long. In feeders, spec traders were 115 contracts less net short to 697. Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher in the PM quote, with the spread reported at $21.25 cwt. Choice boxes were $243.68, up $0.83 and Select was $1.75 higher to $222.43. USDA estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter for Monday at 119,000 head.  

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management