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Cattle prices butchered during weekly trading

Oklahoman Published: July 13, 2014

Here is this week’s edition of Futures File, our weekly commodities wrap-up:

Cattle prices slaughtered

After making an all-time high early Monday morning, cattle prices reversed sharply lower as cattlemen began bringing cattle to the market to capture record high prices. Meanwhile, traders cashed in on huge profits, after riding the market higher for months. As prices dropped, ranchers and traders seemed to succumb to herd behavior, with aggressive selling leading to even more selling.

During the week, prices fell so fast that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s limits were triggered multiple times, which prevent prices from dropping more than three cents per day. By Friday, the bloodbath seemed to be slowing down, but left the markets severely wounded, with fat cattle having shed over nine cents per pound and feeders losing nearly twelve cents, finishing near $1.47 and $2.08, respectively.

The bright side of this price drop is for consumers, grocery stores and restaurants, who may benefit from cheaper beef.

Grains get the guillotine

Midday on Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its projections for coming grain surpluses, showing swelling supplies of corn, wheat and soybeans.

Boosted by prospects for extremely large crops this year and tepid demand that will be unable to eat into the supplies, U.S. grain stockpiles could reach the highest level in years.

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