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By Cassie Fish, 

The negotiated fed cattle trade is getting underway today, with some $185 yesterday in the south followed with at least 6k head at $186 today. Some cattle feeders are passing. North, bids are stronger, dressed from $305 to $307 dressed– $301.22 was the average in Nebraska last week. Live bids north are $195, a new all-time high. Western Nebraska, where numbers are really tight is bid $196.

The fireworks in the fed cash cattle market brought CME cattle futures from red to green on the day but futures are not making a new high for the week, except for spot June LC. Futures typically top first, not cash and there are instances in history when cash has blown off and futures have sat and watched.

Boxed beef values are running out of steam as well, the choice printing down $0.19 today at $317.41 and in the area of its Q2 high. Packer likely looking at worsening margins for next week.

The USDA released actual carcass weight data today and steer carcasses appear to have begun their seasonal rally, reported up 4 pounds from a week ago at 924 pounds and up 37 pounds from a year ago. This astounding and never before statistic makes one wonder where weights will end up in November, which is typically the seasonal and annual high. This year, the actual carcass weight low occurred in February, not May, when the weather market hit the market. Since March 1, the steer carcass weight low was 919 pounds.

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