Cattle rebound on technical buying, lower animal weights

U.S. cattle futures climbed on Thursday, rising on technical buying and lower animal weights that suggested feedlots were aggressively marketing cattle to meet strong beef packer demand, traders and analysts said.

Both Chicago Mercantile Exchange live and feeder cattle futures were technically oversold after steep losses during the past two weeks. Investment funds were unwinding a record-large bullish bet in cattle amid expectations wholesale beef prices would decline.

However, U.S. Department of Agriculture data released at midday showed lower average U.S. cattle carcass weights, prompting futures to reverse from earlier losses. Cattle weights fell to 786 pounds in the week ended May 6, down from 798 pounds last week and 813 pounds a year ago.

Source: Reuters (via Drovers)