Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped in the Northern Plains and western Corn Belt through Thursday afternoon. So far in the Southern Plains this week, live sales are $1-$2 lower at $124/cwt.
Even so, Cattle futures rallied sharply higher. Along with presumed technical support, the most plausible explanation is chatter about the U.S. and China nearing a trade deal and the notion that once-done, domestic commodities will reap significant benefit. There are lots of assumptions throughout the scenario, and plenty betting on them.
Except for 50¢ higher in the back contract, Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.94 higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.85 higher (85¢ to $2.85 higher).
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and weak on Select, with light to moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 60¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $226.74/cwt. Select was 61¢ lower at $218.36.