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Cattle futures extended their rally and finished the day with strong gains. Feeders also saw robust increases. The nearby live cattle contract gained 34 cents and feeders were up 19 cents on the week. The Cattle on Feed report leaned bearish overall. It found 10.8 million head in feedlots on April 1, unchanged from a year ago. However, the trade was looking for a reduction of 1%-2%. Placements during March, at 1.81 million head, were 100.44% of last year and exceeded trade expectations for placements at 92-97% of last year. At 98.3%, March marketings were the lowest since the series began in 1996 but were about as expected, with analysts pegging them at 1-2% below a year ago ahead of the report. The average price of Choice boxed beef dropped $3.02, taking the average to $256.99 and Select fell $3.42, to $247.62. The Commitment of Traders Report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts lightening up their net long position in cattle by about 6.2%. They reduced their longs and added some shorts.
Apr 15 Cattle closed at $161.175, up $1.875,
Jun 15 Cattle closed at $151.200, up $2.175,
Aug 15 Cattle closed at $149.725, up $1.875,
Apr 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $214.850, up $0.575
May 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $214.075, up $2.825
Aug 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $215.675, up $2.725