Quite a Morning

By Cassie Fish, http://cassandrafish.com

The cattle feeding and beef packing industry arose to the news that a small fire had broken out overnight at the National Beef plant in Liberal plant. Turns out it was a minor fire and no more than a day or two’s production is expected to be lost but the news created a stir, nonetheless as memories of the August 2019 fire at Finney County’s Tyson plant came swimming back.

Also this morning packers aggressively competed for tight fed cattle supplies and prices increases another couple of bucks with $188 paid in the south and $190 in the north along with $302 dressed. It was a banner day and when result are tallied, there is a good chance fed cattle prices this week took out last year’s high, which was also the all-time high of $188.75.

Estimated boxed beef values increased this morning, both choice and select up $1.04. By the way, beef 90s reached the staggering price of $338 this week as the grinding material shortage becomes more severe. This underlying influence on the beef complex will continue throughout 2024.

Which leaves CME cattle futures. The market rallied early, fueled by the excitement of a very strong cash cattle market only to falter and fail on the good news. The market ended up closing lower, a bad look technically. Most active June LC broke 255 points off of its highs before staging a 75 point rally off its lows. Futures act tired and uninspired.

USDA releases its monthly Cattle-on-Feed report tomorrow at 2 pm and is expected to show an uptick in placements and COF March 1 just slightly above a year ago.


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