Cattle futures traded both sides of unchanged and closed just mixed yesterday, giving the look of a market now in consolidation mode as we await confirmation of a higher cash cattle trade. We did see some packer bids shown at $137 in TX yesterday, which would have been up from a $135 average last week, with producers there still thinking $140+. I also hear of some unconfirmed reports of some small $137 trade in IA yesterday, up from $130 there last week. Most everyone agrees the cash market will be sharply higher than last week's market, but by how much? Oct futures and average basis of +$0 for this week seems to be pricing in a $140 trade. USDA COF data will be out tomorrow with pre-report estimates showing the industry looking for Oct 1 on feed to be 101.8% of a year ago, Sep placements 93.9%, and Sep marketings 97.7%. If confirmed, this would be our largest yoy decline in placements in five months, and maybe more importantly our smallest yoy decline in marketings in six months, perhaps indicative of better efforts last month in getting cattle marketed in a more timely manner.
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