August cattle closed sharply lower on the session Friday, and sharply lower for the week. Continued weakness in the beef market and the stock market was thought to have pressured cattle futures. A weaker demand tone for commodities due to a sluggish US economy may have added to the market's recent weak tone. The market was able to rally for a sizable portion of last week from widespread ideas that the cash market could rally, but with beef prices pushing towards their lowest level since February as well as "extra" cattle moving to the market due to drought conditions in Texas and higher-priced corn, most traders feel that packers will be unlikely to see a need for paying up in the cash market this week. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 128,000 head Friday and 46,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 681,000 head, up from 617,000 head the previous week and up from 659,000 head a year ago. Weekly beef production is running higher than expected, up 3.1% over last year and higher for the week. Boxed beef cutout values were down $1.17 at mid-session Friday and closed $1.03 lower at $171.55. This was down from $177.48 the prior week, and is the lowest beef price since February 28th.