The Markets

By : Stephen R. Koontz, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics – Colorado State University


What do the technical say? February through October live cattle futures show strong upward trends with resistance levels repeatedly broken and the trend holding whenever tested. These charts will for sure show up in extension talks and lectures. The more deferred contracts are sitting closer to resistance levels whereas nearby contracts have marched through and into higher prices. Live cattle contracts remain a strong bullish market. I am watching the trend lines closely. Hold long positions and wait for uptrends to be broken. These would be sell signals: reduce long positions and/or establish short positions. The spring and fall groups of feeder cattle contracts do not show similar strength. There is not enough trading history in the fall contracts to do technicals. The spring contracts weakened through last October removing any trend and most contracts are trading $140-$150. Opportune places to trade feeder cattle and certainly not as technically clear as live cattle. Watch the live trends and the feeder support and resistance levels. And the winter weather conditions.
Week of
Week of
Week of
Data Source: USDA-AMS Market News
5-Area Fed Steer
all grades, live weight
all grades, dressed weight
Boxed Beef
Choice Price, 600-900 lb.
Choice-Select Spread
700-800 lb. Feeder Steer
Montana 3-market
Nebraska 7-market
Oklahoma 8-market
500-600 lb. Feeder Steer
Montana 3-market
Nebraska 7-market
Oklahoma 8-market
Feed Grains
Corn, Omaha, NE, $/bu 
DDGS, Nebraska, $/ton
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