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Cattle Futures Firm As Cash Creeps Higher

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Live cattle futures closed the Thursday session with 45 to 82 cent gains. Nearby feeder cattle contracts were up $1.25 to $2.02 on the day. The July 29 CME Feeder Cattle index was $139.24, down 59 cents from the day prior. Cash sales were mainly reported on Wednesday at $97 the South and $100-102 in the North. A few sales of $160 in the beef were reported as well. USDA’s weekly update to export sales showed 29,501 MT of beef sold on the week ending July 23. That was a CY high and the largest weekly sale since the week ending May 24 of 2018. Accumulated beef shipments are at 446,767 MT, which trails last year’s export pace by just 1,540 MT. Wholesale boxed beef prices stronger in the PM report. Choice boxes were up 69 cents to $201.80, with Select boxes $2.01 stronger to $191.50 cwt. WTD FI cattle slaughter through Thursday was estimated at 474,000 head. That exceeds last week’s pace by 2,000 head but is 9,000 head behind the same week last year. --- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

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