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David Sparks Ph.d Cattle Up
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: January 08, 2018

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Looks like great news for Idaho cattle ranchers. Cash Cattle sales have taken off and continue strong according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures rallied about 1.5 percent on Wednesday on fund buying and stronger cash cattle and beef prices, traders said.

Frigid temperatures in U.S. Plains cattle producing areas also supported futures as such weather could slow down cattle weight gains, making them less available to packers.

Actively traded February live cattle settled 1.800 cents per pound higher at 123.350 cents, ending near its session high and at its loftiest level since Dec. 1.

“Cash trades late on Friday were a couple of dollars higher and futures are responding to that,” said broker Jeff French.

“And the cold temperatures were reason enough not to sell the futures today,” he added.

Slaughter-ready cattle at U.S. Plains feedlot markets traded around $122 to $124 per cwt on Friday after futures markets had closed for the Christmas holiday weekend. Cattle had traded at $119 to $120 the previous week.

The choice wholesale beef price on Tuesday rose $2.24 per cwt to $205.14, while the select cutout jumped $3.59 to $197.57 per cwt, according to the USDA report.

Feeder cattle futures rallied more than 2 percent on spillover strength from live cattle and on technical buying.

January feeders closed up 3.525 cents per pound at 149.525 cents while actively traded March ended up 4.200 cents at 146.875 cents. Both contracts left chart gaps as they rallied and breached their 100-day moving averages, and both closed near session highs.

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