CME live cattle fell Friday, ending at session lows on weak demand, a stronger dollar and profit-taking after solid recent gains.
Buyers are likely done stocking up on beef for Father's Day, said Randy Fisher, head of Fisher Commodities Services, and while the July 4 holiday is generally good for demand, it isn't as much of a boost.
"I think the calendar was the biggest deterrent" to buying, Fisher said.
Worries about demand as packer margins erode also weighed. But Fisher says losses were mostly just a correction after the market's strong start in June.
CME live cattle for June delivery ended down 1.9 cents, or 1.8%, to $1.02725 per pound. August feeder cattle fell 1.7 cents to $1.23625 pound.
The cash cattle markets Friday were generally quiet with only a few loads reported sold in Kansas at $1.05 a pound, steady with the bulk of this week's sales. The majority of the week's trading occurred on Wednesday in moderate to active fashion followed by light sales Thursday.
The outlook for cash cattle prices next week was clouded by further declines in midday wholesale beef values and sharply lower futures prices today. Some analysts predict cash prices could hold generally steady with sales this week, which were up from a week ago, based on expectations that demand for the animals will remain generally strong near-term. Others say the cash market could be under pressure from expanding supplies of slaughter-ready animals and breaks in beef and futures prices Friday.
The latest HedgersEdge packer margin index was plus $60.80 a head, compared with $76.85 the previous day. The weekly average was plus $82.82, compared with $99.88 a week ago. This is an estimate of packer returns on cattle slaughtered and processed expressed in the form of an index.
USDA's midday boxed beef price quote, a measure of wholesale prices, for choice grade carcasses was down $1.17 per hundred pounds at $171.41 and select off $2.15 at $165.23 on 175 total loads.