Morning Livestock Report, 12/18/2015

Friday, December 18, 2015


Cattle futures opened lower yesterday and slid to limit lower by midday, something this industry has become so accustomed to in recent months. Nearby Dec futures trading as low as $116.97 and a fresh four year low. A sharply higher US$, weak hogs, weak equities, weak crude, and very poor market psychology all contributing. Traders also discouraged with monthly USDA beef pricing data showing Nov retail prices down just 1% vs year-ago levels, while the wholesale market is down 16%. Live and feeder cattle futures did, however, stage a solid $1-2 rebound through the afternoon hours, which should have futures off to a higher start this morning. At least one packer was seen raising cash cattle bids from $117 to $118 in the South yesterday afternoon, not a significant move in itself, but definitely a deviation from the trend we’ve seen in recent weeks. Futures also perhaps supported with confirmation of declining carcass weights. Week ending Dec 5 slaughter data showed the average carcass down 8 lbs vs the prior week, including steers down 10 lbs and heifers down 8 lbs.


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