The cattle markets traded softer for the first hour of the session yesterday, before rallying along with a developing cash cattle trade. Futures, and perhaps packer buyers, also responding to deteriorating weather forecasts for this weekend, where forecasters are still vague with the exact track but with some areas of the Panhandles and KS expected to get 12”+ of snow through Monday, impacting pen conditions and slowing cattle performance. But even after the futures and cash cattle strength we’ve seen in recent days, I think they entire industry would feel better about the sustainability of this rally if we could actually see some strength in the beef markets. Spot cutout indexes were down sharp on Monday and just mixed yesterday, albeit on larger load counts, which may indicate some improved demand?? USDA Cold Storage data out yesterday showed total beef stocks at 510 mil lbs, up 1% vs last month, up 27% vs last year, but smaller than the 535 mil lb pre-report estimate.
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