Live cattle futures saw 55 cent to $1.025 gains in most contracts on Friday. Feeder cattle futures were steady to $1.05 higher in the front months. The CME feeder cattle index was down 57 cents on April 11 at $142.78. Wholesale boxed beef prices were mixed on Friday afternoon, tightening the Ch/Se spread to $7.73. Choice boxes were down 8 cents at $228.75, with Select boxes $1.07 higher at $221.02. USDA estimated weekly cattle slaughter at 634,000 head through Saturday. That would be 13,000 larger than last week and 23,000 head above the same week a year ago. A few cash cattle sales of $124 were reported in TX and KS this week, with a few sales of $127-128 reported in NE on Friday. The weekly Commitment of Traders report indicated that specs in live cattle futures and options were just 4 contracts from their record net long position as of Tuesday at 148,941 contracts. That was 704 contracts above last week.
Apr 19 Cattle closed at $126.550, up $0.550,
Jun 19 Cattle closed at $121.450, up $1.025,
Aug 19 Cattle closed at $118.200, up $0.825,
Apr 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.425, unch,
May 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $150.500, up $0.650
Aug 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $158.700, up $1.050
--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management