Live cattle futures settled $.32 to $1.55 lower led by the expiring December contract as it converged with the presumed cash market. Feeder futures were 40 to 45 cents higher. The CME feeder cattle index on December 28 was up 63 to $146.51. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher for both the day and the week. Choice boxes were 62 cents on the day and $3.34/cwt for the week. Select boxes were up $2.07 on Friday and up $5.10 for the full week. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 502,000 head. That is 13,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Cash trade was slow to develop, with trade reported at $195 late on Friday afternoon in the north, with $123 indicated for the south. Wind chills as low as -40F will interfere with movement of finished cattle to packers for a few days, with a warm up expected after mid-week. That makes the ones that can get there a bit more valuable.

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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