Live cattle futures finished the Thursday session with most contracts down 65 cents to $1.55. Feeder cattle futures were 2.025 to $2.425 lower. The CME feeder cattle index was down 24 cents on March 7 at $144.72. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 31 cents at $223.88, with Select boxes up $1.58 at $216.78. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 467,000 head through Thursday, 2,000 head fewer than last week but 9,000 head larger than the same week in 2017. Cash cattle sales of $126 were reported today across most regions, with a few late sales of $127. Beef export sales for the week of 3/1 totaled 19,657 MT. Export data from January was released by Census, showing a record for beef exports at 243.674 million pounds. That was 15.3% larger than last year but down 6.6% from December, which is seasonal. Quarterly beef production was lowered 90 million pounds for the first quarter, with the second quarter up 50 million pounds.

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $121.775, down $1.200,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $113.275, down $1.550,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $111.250, down $1.200,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $141.750, down $2.025

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $143.000, down $2.375

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $144.450, down $2.425

Market Commentary provided by:

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