Column: Varilek’s Cattle Call: Steady Cash and Choppy Trade |

Column: Varilek’s Cattle Call: Steady Cash and Choppy Trade

Live cattle cash was steady again at $136-137 live and $218 dressed. The price for fat cattle felt like the charity bids from last year when the producer does not have the ability to ask for more. It looked like another week of take it or leave it, and many producers that were holding out started to cave at those prices. If the packers were closer to the knife, feedlots would be able wait for higher prices, but when the only option to sell cattle was for 3 weeks out, you must keep them moving.

We did see our first noticeable break in carcass weights week over week with steer carcasses down 6 pounds for the week ending 1/15/22. The puts the steers 3 pounds under year ago levels. It has been a long ride with large carcass weights and good feeding weather aided in the extra pounds. In the future, we will watch for chances of a winter storm in southern country for a chance to be friendly the market.

The United States dollar had a breakout on a chart to the upside this past week. The weaker dollar over the last year has brought some good export business our way for the grains and livestock. It is now climbing back to levels from July of 2020. Further strength could make the long funds wiggle with grain prices at historically higher levels. The slow climb on the dollar went mostly unnoticed in my opinion, but this swift increase is making more headlines.

Oversees issues and outside market volatility will be watched closely by the futures, so it looks like we must become and expert war uncertainty. It is said on any given day there is more likely for a news story to make the markets trade limit down than limit up. That means we always have that risk of something to panic the market. With higher priced feeders and feed, I would double check your bottom line and analyze your financial plans for the year. Have a great week.

Scott Varilek, Kooima Kooima Varilek Trading

The risk of loss when trading futures and options is substantial. Each investor must consider whether this is a suitable investment. Past performance is not indicative of future results.


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