Cattle Futures Down As Basis Firms

Live cattle futures were down triple digits on Wednesday. December through Apr futures were down $1.10 to $1.47, with Dec options expiring tomorrow. Feeder cattle futures were also down by triple digits, to the tune of -$1.50. The 12/03 CME Feeder Cattle index was $145.19 after gaining 16 cents. Wholesale boxed beef prices were again lower. The Choice/select spread is tightening seasonally. Choice boxes were shown at $226.95, after dropping $3.20. Select boxes were at $210.31 following a $2 per cwt drop. The FCE online cattle auction sold 860 of the 1,189 head listed, at a weighted average price of $118.36. Prices ranged from $118-119.50. USDA reported cash sales in the country of $118- 119.50, accompanying dressed sales of >$187.00; for a weighted average of $190.51. JBS plans on investing $1.9 billion USD into Brazilian meat expansion, with the goals being to match growing domestic demand and increase export viability. USDA estimated the week to date FI cattle slaughter at 361,000 head through Wednesday, last week was 341,000 head (ahead of the holiday) and the same week last year was at 360,000.

---provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

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