Cattle futures traded lower for most of the session yesterday, with the most active Feb contract down $1.70 by day’s end and giving up a majority of Monday’s rally. Monday afternoon’s Cold Storage report seemed to remind people that we still have an ongoing problem in the trimmings markets, even if we are expecting some modest strength in the holiday middle meats over these next few weeks. Freezer stocks are at record highs, as imports have been massive dating back more than a year now, and we’ve watched the 90% lean trim market trade from $2.90 three months ago to $2.08 yesterday, beef 50s have moved from $1.10 to $0.42, both of which are a drag on the whole complex. We saw some light volume cash cattle trade in NE/IA yesterday at $195 dressed, steady with last week’s market and a $124ish live equivalent. We’re still two weeks away from the December delivery period, but a $124 market there vs $130+ futures makes it look like the delivery math may well work for them again this go-around. No trade yet in the South where offers are $132+ vs a $127 trade last week.
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