The cattle markets traded lower for all of about 10 minutes early yesterday morning, before quickly climbing back to unchanged and rallying as much as the $3.00 limit higher by mid-morning. Last week’s USDA mandatory cash cattle summaries show the North trading mostly $125 live / $195 dressed, while the South traded $127. Last week’s slaughter total of 571K head was larger than most were anticipating and there seems to be some expectation that even with the larger production, the boxed beef markets can rebound over these next 2-3 weeks as poultry and ham business comes to an end and beef middle meats seasonally strengthen. We do also have another weather event on tap for this week, with rain/snow/ice expected across a good chunk of cattle country and helping to support nearby Dec futures to a now $5-7 premium over last week’s cash trade. USDA Cold Storage stats out yesterday showed boneless beef stocks at an all-time high for any month and larger than expected, and at least a partial answer as to why the beef trim markets have been so weak recently.
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