By Cassie Fish,Â CassandraFish.com
CME live cattle futures are in day 3 of whatâ€™s turned out to be relatively quiet consolidation, so far holding the 40-day moving average. Record high cutout values this week have somewhat offset the expected call for lower cash trade in the short-term.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gathering Ye Cattle Where Ye May
Packers, for all of their bearish rhetoric, are quietly scurrying behind the scenes today, pulling cattle slated for June, canvassing sale barns for fat cattle at fully steady money compared to last week and aggressively bidding +1 on tops in Texas and Kansas- whatever it takes to fill out this weekâ€™s schedule, which is expected to see a kill in the +570k area. Whatever it takes, that is, but trading in the negotiated market.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Is It June Yet?
The attitude of most cattle traders continues to be negative though available supplies of market-ready cattle continue to be tight. Calf-feds are coming on as they do this time of year, and the packer canâ€™t wait to have an easier time of procuring inventory nor to get his hands on his June contracts.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Boxes Soar; Grill or Dine Alfresco?
Boxed beef values shot to another new record high yesterday as there is little unspoken-for beef supply available and â€˜tis the season for the grill. Forecasts for this weekend are for above to much-above normal temps on the entire east coast raising expectations for excellent clearance at retail and food service. Patio dining will be packed as the celebration of warm weather kicks into high gear. And since folks now spend more money on food away from home, choosing from the vast selection of gourmet burgers and craft brews has become a weekly treat for millions of consumers.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It Remains to Be Seen
At the risk of being repetitive, it will be where reality meets perception post-Memorial Day regarding supply and demand. As domestic cow kill declines in June and July, fed cattle production will increase which could provide some extra support for the round and chuck. These are complex times and though there are many bears to be found as the futures market effectively telegraphs each day, real-time cash beef and cattle prices this third week of May are still historically strong. Bears believe time is still on their side, while weary bulls watch from the wings to see if the cash break really does materialize.