By Cassie Fish,

CME live cattle futures have traded within last week’s high and low and are currently lower on the week, tepid action following last week’s strong close. It’s inconclusive at worst and friendly at best if the market can take out last week’s high next week. For now, futures are fence sitting.

In the meantime, boxed beef cutout values are slowly improving, up $1.52 on the choice this mid-morning at $303.91 and up $1.82 on the select cutout. This is encouraging, and not unexpected.  

There has been only tiny numbers of negotiated fed cattle that have traded this week, around 700 head yesterday. Live steers, FOB sold from $176 to $190.50/cwt on 325 head, all 80% choice or higher. Dressed price range on steers was $292 to $298/cwt on even fewer numbers. Generally thoughts are that cash will be steady this week as packers attempt to hold cattle costs flat while boxed beef values increase.

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