USDA Increased Beef Production Outlook

The cattle market traded higher on Thursday. The fats were up by 0.4% to 0.6% with triple digit gains in the April and June contracts. USDA confirmed another solid day of cash trade on Thursday. Southern deals were mostly steady near $182-183, while Northern trades were $1-2 higher near $185. There were no deliveries issued against Oct fats through 10/11. Feeder cattle futures finished Thursday with triple digit gains of as much as 0.7%. The 10/11 CME Feeder Cattle Index increased 51 cents to $250.30. 

USDA’s monthly WASDE report had 2023 beef production at 26.976b lbs, a 35m lb increase from the Sep figure. That came via a 25m cut to Q3 and a 60m increase for Q4. The 2024 outlook was raised 110m lbs to 25.275 billion – 50 of which was Q1. 

USDA’s Wholesale Boxed Beef report had Choice boxes up by 91 cents to $301.19, while Select was 28 cents lower to $275.02. USDA estimates the week’s FI cattle slaughter at 499k head through Thursday, matching last week but 11k below the same week last year.