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Cattle futures closed sharply higher with the October contract posting a new high and a new high-close. A few contracts were as high as the daily limit would allow before settling a few cents back from their highs for the day. Feeders were also sharply higher, and both the November and the January contracts were up the limit earlier in the session. Cash cattle trade for top quality steers last week averaged $167.08 and the futures market is trying to keep up with the cash. Dressed prices averaged $259.19. Wholesale beef prices were reported mixed with average prices for Choice beef 24 cents higher, and Select boxes 14 cents lower. USDA has the national pasture and range condition rating slightly lower than last week, but still in much better shape than a year ago. Estimated Monday slaughter was about the same as last Monday, but 10K head smaller than a year ago.
Oct 14 Cattle closed at $167.900, up $2.850,
Dec 14 Cattle closed at $168.025, up $2.975,
Feb 15 Cattle closed at $166.900, up $2.875,
Oct 14 Feeder Cattle closed at $240.750, up $2.300
Nov 14 Feeder Cattle closed at $236.825, up $2.675
Jan 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $231.075, up $2.950