Varilek’s Cattle Call: Better Cash Feel 4-7-2022

After 5 trading days lower on the futures market we found ourselves with a little hope. Cash cattle prices were steady to slightly higher with many of the packers in the arena buying a few cattle. The Monday morning $138 trade started us off with $140-142 trade to follow in the north. In the old days, Monday morning cash bids were a sign of the packer needing cattle, but we trade so few negotiated cattle that will be harder to read from. Ultimately, I do feel we have manageable showlists, but the packer has maintained leverage over the last two years, making it hard to get a boost.

The cash feeder market is also holding stable even with corn on the rally. I still see optimism in the beef industry with a smaller cow herd and good demand. Carcass weights finally took a week over week break dropping six pounds on all cattle and steers. With the higher feed costs, we are weighting for a larger signal in that category as feedlots may have the desire to move cattle quicker. As previously stated, the weather over the winter was great for feeding cattle.

The outside markets have become slightly more stable since the Ukraine invasion, which could aid in future consumer spending in my opinion. Of course, that can change at the drop of a hat, but the economy is becoming complacent to war news. Inflation could be the story that throws its hat back in the ring. The monthly WASDE reports will start to be a larger factor as we near planting season and will create increased grain and feeder volatility with higher prices on the board. There is a lot to chew on currently so good luck and stay safe.

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