Sort & Cull

Cash Cattle Trade Could be Delayed Until After Fourth of July Holiday

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
With feedlot managers determined to price cattle higher again this week, the cash cattle market could wait to trade until Friday. (Photo by Rob Mattson/Courtesy of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation)

There are very few weekdays throughout the year in which the futures complex doesn't trade, but the Fourth of July holiday is one of them. Most sale barns will also be closed this week as everyone looks forward to some much-needed time off and regular, scheduled feeder cattle sales will resume next week.

But what the fed-cash cattle market will do this week is anyone's guess. Last week, most of the market's trade waited to develop until Friday, where Northern dressed cattle traded for mostly $312, which is $1 higher than last week's weighted average; Southern live cattle traded for mostly $190, which is about steady with the previous week's weighted average. Last week's negotiated cash cattle trade totaled 68,879 head. Of that, 72% (49,259 head) were committed to the nearby delivery, while the remaining 28% (19,620 head) were committed to the deferred delivery.

With showlists extremely current and packers needing to remain engaged in the cash market to ensure they have enough cattle to kill in the upcoming weeks, it's likely that again this week fed cattle trade will be delayed until Friday where prices could be steady to somewhat higher. I believe that the cash cattle market stands a strong chance of remaining steady if not trading even higher as boxed beef prices continue to be well supported. Once beef demand starts to weaken, packers will try to cut cash prices as well. Packers loathe paying this much money for cash cattle, but with boxed beef prices remaining lucrative, they also can't afford to be short bought and miss out on potential meat sales. It's likely that the cash cattle market will wait to see the Fourth of July's fireworks before it potentially sparks some fireworks of its own.

Enjoy your week, friends! I pray that each and every one of you celebrates the Fourth of July and doesn't take for granted this great country that we live in.

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at


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