Just as we experienced late last week, the cattle markets again fell victim to much weaker outside markets, with fresh lows in the equity and energy markets sapping interest from any would be buyers. At limit lower midday, April live cattle futures did fulfill an important technical objective, however, by closing that chart gap dating back to Dec 21 and then managed an impressive ~150 point rally off those lows through the afternoon hours. Interesting to see monthly USDA retail beef price data out yesterday finally showing some material declines in retail pricing. The December average retail choice beef price was down 24 cents/lb (4%) vs the prior month, the largest month-to-month decline since at least 1970. Retail prices are now down 5% vs a year ago while wholesale prices are down 18%, so retail still has some catching up to do but is on the right track now. In my personal experience, I’m seeing more and more $2.99 ground beef features here in KC. Outside markets are steady this morning and cattle futures should be off to a firmer start this morning.
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