CME: Futures, Boxed Beef and Select Beef Close Lower Friday04 February 2013
US - February cattle pushed to a 5-session low on Friday morning and traded moderately lower into the close and even filled the gap left after the Cattle-on-Feed report, write analysts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Weaker beef prices this week and weak demand from the packer helped to pressure. April cattle closed moderately lower on the day but managed to hold support near 132.00.
The market saw some choppy trade early today with some positioning ahead of the Cattle Inventory report for release after the close. The twice a year report is likely to show a decline in cattle supply for the 6th year in a row (down 1.8 per cent) and the lowest total inventory since 1952.
Traders are waiting for a seasonal improvement in demand for beef in February/March from a January low as consumer demand is generally slow in January due to tighter disposable income.
Higher taxes, higher gasoline prices and less restaurant flow are reasons for the normal January lull as beef prices this year have pulled back to the lowest level since August.
Boxed-beef cut-out values at mid-session came in at $183.99, down $1.33 from yesterday and down from $187.44 last week. Select beef was down 69 cents to $179.56. Slaughter for today came in above trade expectations at 122,000 head.
TheMeatSite News Desk