Varilek’s Cattle Call: Market swings amid USDA rumors, announcements

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I could probably copy and paste most of last week’s comments and call it a wrap.  It was long term fundamental supply tightness that led to higher cash for fats and feeders.  Cash was king and fought off the weekly bird flu drama.  Live cattle traded steady when the market traded near the lows on Monday and Tuesday.  There was $187 live and $295-296 dressed trade in the north with southern bids increased from $182-184.50.  More trade was renewed at these prices throughout the week.

USDA announcements put large swings on the market last week with rumors of new announcements alongside official releases.  Wednesday the market quickly turned lower with the rumor of one such release.  The uncertainty weighed on the market with the prior knowledge of USDA testing ground beef samples at the retail level.  After the market closed Wednesday, the official news was that 30 samples of ground beef in the store test negative.  That was great news for the beef industry in the ongoing process.  The handling of the USDA Releases has become quite the topic within the industry with rumors of more to come daily.

The cattle market is filled with volatility and has a walking on egg shells feel.  We all have opinions on the latest news including myself, but make sure your bottom line or livelihood is not at too much risk.  Prices are high and have room to fall if something hits the fan.  Be careful and have a good week.  Fire up the grill for beef month and peek demand season.

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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