Cattle Fade As Beef Fights for Place at Holiday Table

Live cattle futures closed 12 to 22 cents lower on Friday, save for a 72 cent drop in Dec as the options expired. Feeder cattle futures ended the session mostly higher with 7 to 10 cent gains in the front months. Jan contracts ended with a 2 cent loss on the day. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was $139.18 on 12/3, down 43 cents. The weekly CoT report showed live cattle spec trader OI increased 1.3% for a net reduction to their 40k contract net long. In Feeder cattle futures and options, CFTC data showed managed money had flipped net long on the week via short covering. A few Friday catch up cash sales were noted at $109, the bulk of the week’s business was $110. For dressed sales in the North, the range was $170-$176 with the majority from $172-$174. Wholesale boxed beef prices fell sharply on Friday, with a $4.17 drop in Choice and a $2.42 drop in Select. USDA estimated the week’s FI cattle slaughter at 667,000 head, down from 682k last year. YTD slaughter trails 2019’s pace by 3.4%.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management