It took all of 10 minutes yesterday morning for the cattle market to open just 50 points lower and slip down the daily 300 point limit. Turns out last week's cash cattle business was even weaker than we'd earlier believed, with KS and TX both reporting some volumes at $133 and the North some $128 late on Friday. But this still feels like a market led lower by futures, not by cash, which is the opposite of what we saw back in September. And the futures plunge comes without a "news" headline, which leaves the industry asking what gives. Perhaps its as simple as a dearth of buyers. The traditional spec fund who has held the buy side of the market for years has exited the space in recent months. Plus, I think we all forget that in context of years, today's market is still the second highest ever. Today, we do have the USDA's monthly supply/demand update where we'll be looking for the USDA to again increase forward beef production estimates on heavier carcass weights, as well as increase their import estimates to better match actual YTD shipments. We'll be working with expanded limits today.
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