Cattle futures traded mostly softer for the second consecutive session yesterday. This week’s light volume action, and relatively small trading ranges, is a far cry from the wild volatility seen in recent weeks/months, with futures now seemingly content to await confirmation of a firmer cash cattle and beef market this week. The latter is definitely doing its part, with the choice and select cutout indexes up a sharp $3-4 on Monday and another $4-5 yesterday, as holiday-shortened production schedules continue to help wholesale prices rebound off multi-year lows. The cash cattle trade, meanwhile, is still undetermined. I see some reports of $126 packer bids shown yesterday while I think most in the industry are expecting business to occur in the $128-130 range by close of business tomorrow. Note there were another 5 loads of cattle delivered in Dodge City last night, and the prior 6 loads retendered for the second time. Nearby December live cattle futures expire tomorrow at 12pm ct.
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