Sort & Cull

Pick While the Market Is Ripe

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
The cattle market is looking to rally as both technical and fundamental indicators are strong. (Photo by Barry Chittenden)

Last week's phenomenal trade was exactly what the cattle market needed. The market didn't see singular gains in only one market, but instead the market rallied together to trade higher. The futures market saw steady gains throughout the week; the cash cattle market jumped $1 to $2 higher for live cattle, dressed cattle jumped $3 to $4 higher and feeder cattle were called anywhere from $2 to $5 stronger.

It wasn't that long ago that cattlemen worried that the cattle market wouldn't see much of a spring rally as cash cattle prices traded painstakingly steady for nearly six weeks and corn prices pushed cost of gains in the feedlot sector absurdly higher. But upon seeing last week's gust of support, the cattle market has seemed to have a revival that cattlemen need to push.

The stars are aligning perfectly for the cattle market to have a healthy rally. Thankfully, packers are soaking up profits on the boxed beef sector, which enables them to pay more for cash cattle in the upcoming week. Seeing that packers committed 64% of last week's procured cattle for delivery in the next upcoming two weeks tells me they need cattle and will most likely be willing to pay more if boxed beef prices keep trending higher, which is very likely. Last week's cash cattle trade totaled 99,682 head. Of that, 64,241 head are committed for delivery in the next two weeks, while the remaining 35,441 head are scheduled for delivery in the following 15 to 30 days.

Moving into this upcoming week's trade, and even looking ahead at the weeks to come, cattlemen should take full advantage of what the market has to offer. Don't sit on the market sidelines when a rally is begging to develop. Push the packers for more. Given that last week's market saw advancements of $1 to $2 live, cattlemen should set their asking prices at least $3 to $4 higher this week as packers will always dicker prices down, but they'll never offer up more money. The same goes for dressed cattle prices and feeder cattle -- push the market when there's more to be had, because in time buyers will have their orders filled and reduce their buying quests.

If you want to hear more about the last week's cattle market, tune into the latest Cattle Market News Update on the DTN/Progressive Farmer Facebook Page or simply click the link below:…

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at


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