Cattle futures turned in a two-sided trade yesterday and closed that way as well, slightly firmer in the nearby Oct live and feeder cattle contracts, and weaker across most of the deferreds. Both the live and feeder contracts now hold a big lead on the spot cash markets, at least $5 in the fats and $4 in the feeders, and we now await confirmation that this week's cash cattle trade will indeed be higher. I've not yet seen any packer bidding interest to this point in the week. On the beef front, both the choice and select carcass cutout indexes were up sharply again yesterday, $3 higher in the choice and $4 in the select, but we've still got some bizarre things going on in the trim and by-product markets. 90% lean trim was quoted DOWN 6 cents to $2.35, a new multi-month low, while 50% lean trim was quoted UP a quick 6 cents to $0.47. Meanwhile the by-product "drop credit" value was down another $0.38 (3%) yesterday afternoon and a fresh low there as well. Futures are looking firmer this morning, but with another two-sided affair likely.
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