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Varilek’s Cattle Call

Varilek’s Cattle Call: A Week of Red

August 16, 2019

We wrapped up one of the worst weeks I have ever seen in the agriculture futures market. Between a fire in a packing plant and a USDA grain report, producers were left with sharply weaker...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Plenty of Supply

August 9, 2019

After a week away from writing, we are still in a holding pattern over in the futures market. Every year we drag though the end of the summer, and I cannot wait for it to...



Varilek’s Cattle Call: Weather Challenges

July 19, 2019

Grains continue to be the main story line for the futures market with a challenging growing season. Corn is maintaining a price level higher than the trading range held since 2014. The USDA August 12...


Cattle Call by Scott Varilek: Feeder Prices Impress

July 12, 2019

At our halfway point through the summer, cash feeder prices had a better than anticipated start. The rumor is feedlot owners are using a breakeven of $120-$125 when making feeder calf purchases. That was taking...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Cash Cattle Improvement

July 5, 2019

Cash cattle prices trader firmer last week. Prices started early at 180 dressed with some 114 live to round out the week. The price improvement showed packers were a little more aggressive with fed cattle...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Grains, gains and pains

June 21, 2019

The grains are stealing the headlines this spring for good reason. Corn prices are higher than they have been since 2014. The wet spring in such a large geographic area is one that we have...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Supply peak reached

June 14, 2019

Beef demand has held its own throughout our large supply of cattle. However, grilling season lost several weeks this year due to bad weather which we will not be able to get back. Beef sales...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Negative closeouts

June 7, 2019

The feeder calf market remains volatile. It has had $29 break from previous highs with a small recovery last week. The rally in corn could be to blame for the washout in the feeders, but...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Feeders are the Leaders

May 31, 2019

The grains took over most of the story lines for ag commodities again last week with delayed planting. There is no historical data to compare with as we have never experienced this large of a...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Feed-needs scramble

May 24, 2019

The main story of the last week has turned to the grains. Beef producers have been able to go “hand to mouth” for the last several years with no major threat of a runaway market....


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Large supply continues

May 17, 2019

Last week’s cattle market action was a little more of a sideways chop as opposed to the recent slide. The packer still maintained leverage, but basis has improved for the past two weeks. An abundant...


Varilek’s Cattle Call: Market on the slide

May 10, 2019

One of the unwritten quotes of market movement is, “take the stairs up and the elevator down.” The cattle futures continue to try find a bottom as the break continues. The packers took advantage of...



Varilek’s Cattle Call: Funds still in liquidation mode

April 26, 2019

Last week, we experienced a shift in the live cattle market. Prices took an aggressive correction. This was primarily fund driven action with fundamentals not playing much of a roll. The record open interest run...



Varilek’s Cattle Call

March 29, 2019

There has been a change of tone in the cattle market. We have finally had our first significant test lower in the live cattle futures. The slow grinding up-trend starting in November has come to...



Varilek’s Cattle Call: Live cattle contract highs

March 15, 2019

Open interest in the live cattle remains at record levels with the funds holding a record long position. The funds appear to be defending their position. Some evidence of this being the recovery of the...