Cattle Hold Opening Strength to Close Higher on Thursday

Live cattle shot higher following Wednesday’s late USDA H5N1 announcement, closing with $1.90 to $2.95 gains. Cash trade has been slow to develop this week with a few $186 in KS reported by the USDA, with NE at $187. Both would be an improvement on the week, but noted volume has been light. Feeders were up $2.17 to $3.62 across the board on Thursday. The CME Feeder Cattle index was down $3.69 on May 1 to $243.37.

On Wednesday, USDA issued a release stating their tests on the ground beef in states where dairy herds have tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu, came back negative for the virus. 

Export Sales of beef in the week of 4/25 totaled 22,468 MT, a calendar year high. South Korea was the top buyer of 9,600 MT, with 5,200 MT sold to Japan. Shipments totaled 14,631 MT, an improvement from last week. Japan was the top destination at 3,800 MT, with 3,400 MT on its way to South Korea. Census data converted to a carcass weight scale showed 256.1 million lbs of US beef exported in March. That was down 10.4% from last year and was a 5-year low.

USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef prices were lower in the Thursday afternoon report. Choice boxes were down another 64 cents at $292.90, with Select slipping 9 cents lower to $287.98. That took the Chc/Sel spread to $4.92. USDA estimated Thursday’s federally inspected cattle slaughter at 120,000 head, taking the weekly total to 480,000 head. That is 8,000 head below last week and down 13,689 head from the same week last year.

Jun 24 Live Cattle  closed at $176.800, up $2.950,

Aug 24 Live Cattle  closed at $173.950, up $2.850,

Oct 24 Live Cattle  closed at $177.375, up $2.525,

May 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $243.600, up $2.175,

Aug 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $255.225, up $3.475,

Sep 24 Feeder Cattle  closed at $255.975, up $3.375,

On the date of publication, Alan Brugler did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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