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Cattle Markets Post New Record High

Author: Kristy

JANUARY 3, 2014

By: Greg Henderson, Beef Today Editorial Director

CME-floor-trading-PS-b

Cattle traders rang in the New Year with record cash prices for fed cattle. Prices advanced for the second consecutive week, with cash trades in southern feedyards at $135 to $137 and a few at $139 per hundredweight. The gain for the two-week period around Christmas and New Year’s was $7 per hundredweight, or roughly $100 more for a 1,400-pound steer. Some cattle sold out of northern feedyards at $216 per hundredweight dressed.

Cattle feeders may have been giddy with the market rally, but not everyone in the cattle complex is convinced this bull market has legs. Futures traders remain cautious, and February Live Cattle contracts closed Friday at $136.25, slightly below the cash trade. April contracts closed at $136.50. Futures prices moved only modestly higher by $2 to $3 over the past two weeks. Futures traders note, however, the February contract is at or near an all-time high.

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