As I sit here and watch the cattle market trade through Monday's complex, I'm surprised that both the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts are performing as well as they are, given the war outbreak in Israel. On Oct. 7, Hamas, a militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, fired what it claims were more than 5,000 rockets into Israel, as well as invaded by land. Ever since, horrific, gruesome warfare has taken place in Israel and in Gaza. More than 1,000 people have been killed already on both sides and thousands more injured, as of Monday morning.
One would logically suspect that when one of our nation's closest allies is invaded that the futures market would plumet, but so far that hasn't been the case. Yes, both the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts are trading lower, but not as drastically as I feared.
As the market moves through the rest of the week and continues to monitor our own political issues (not having a Speaker of the House) and economic state (Congress averted a shutdown with passing only a temporary funding bill), the war outbreak in Israel is now another ball the market must juggle, and producers must navigate in their day-to-day decision making.
The fundamental stronghold that the market has possessed through 2023 hasn't changed, but it seems like the closer we get to 2024, more external pressures continue to build.
It's likely the market could be volatile this week as traders and cattlemen try to make the most sense out of our ever-changing world.
Regardless of whether you are or aren't someone who likes to follow the politics and news closely, I think it's something that we all need to be pay attention to as we move forward. Our market is indeed affected by both. Jess Peterson, the Senior Policy Advisor for the United States Cattlemen's Association, championed the phrase, "Markets work best with active and informed participants" -- and in charged markets like these, we simply cannot afford to be complacent.
ShayLe Stewart can be reached at ShayLe.Stewart@dtn.com
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