Live cattle futures closed the day with losses of 32.5 to 75 cents, with nearby Feb down a nickel. Feeder cattle futures were $1 to $1.575 in the red. The CME feeder cattle index on January 18 was at $148.01, up $1.54 from the previous day. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 83 cents at $204.86, with Select boxes 71 cents lower at $200.16. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter is at 615,000 head including Saturday. That is 4,000 head more than last week. Cash trade was slow to develop this week, but late trade after Friday’s bell was reported in the $122-123.50 range. USDA reported Beef export sales for the week that ended Jan 11 totaled 15,008 MT. That was slightly ahead of the previous week and much larger than the same time last year. Shipments of beef were tallied at 15,072 MT, nearly 5.06% above the same week in 2017. Managed money spec traders were at their lowest reported CFTC bullish position since Nov 2016 on Tuesday.
Feb 18 Cattle closed at $121.900, down $0.050,
Apr 18 Cattle closed at $122.725, down $0.750,
Jun 18 Cattle closed at $114.725, down $0.625,
Jan 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $147.950, down $1.225
Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.600, down $1.575
Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.075, down $1.300