Live cattle futures staged another impressive rally yesterday, with the nearby Feb16 contract reaching just short of the daily $3.00 limit, before finishing $2.70 higher, amid forecasts for another winter storm for the major cattle areas of eastern CO, southern NE, western and northern KS, and much of IA. The storm is expected to bring heavy snows, with at least 6-12" accumulations and locally as much as 18". Such a storm would undoubtedly impact performance, so it’s path will be something to monitor. Gains in the other live cattle contracts ranged from $0.95 to $1.85, while feeder cattle futures finished mostly $0.67 to $1.42 higher. Outside of the weather, the news is not as supportive. The boxed beef markets continue to struggle. Yesterday, the choice lost $1.68 yesterday, the select lost $1.40. Look for a softer start for futures this morning, with the trade watching weather forecasts closely. Note, the January 1st cattle inventory report is set for release tomorrow afternoon and is generally expected to confirm herd growth of almost 2%.
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