Cattle Higher as Japan Eases Restrictions

Live cattle futures posted 80 cent to $180 gains in most contracts on Friday. A USDA announcement shows that Japan has agreed to lift the 30-month age restriction on beef imports from the US that was implemented originally as a 20-month following the BSE outbreak in 2003. Feeder cattle futures were 30 cents higher in nearby May, with other contracts $2 to $2.625 higher. The CME feeder cattle index was down 30 cents to $132.76 on May 16. Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 75 cents at $220.31 with Select boxes 40 cents higher @ $208.28. USDA estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter at 660,000 head through Saturday. That was down 11,000 head from the previous week and 8,000 below the same week last year. Cash sales have been reported at ~$117 this week, with a few down to $115 reported by USDA. Money managers in live cattle futures and options were shown to liquidate 17,405 contracts from their CFTC net long position on Tuesday at 87,296 contracts.

Jun 19 Cattle closed at $111.275, up $0.800,

Aug 19 Cattle closed at $108.925, up $0.975,

Oct 19 Cattle closed at $108.900, up $1.000,

May 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $134.525, up $0.300

Aug 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.500, up $2.175

Sep 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.700, up $2.475

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

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