June cattle closed moderately lower for the session yesterday, but up 100 points from the midsession lows. Cash cattle were offered this week at $125.00, as compared with cash trading at a previous record high of $121.00-122.00 last week. Some traders see cash trading slightly higher for the week due to higher beef prices and slightly smaller supplies, but packer margins have slipped into the red over the past few sessions so other traders wonder if packers will now be willing to pay higher to own inventory. June cattle pushed moderately lower as demand concerns with China attempting to slow their economy and with higher food and energy prices in the US were widely seen as pressuring the market. News that China raised interest rates in an attempt to fight inflation was also seen as a negative factor. Ideas that cash cattle will have a tough time trading higher than last week's record highs were felt to be a key reason for the setback in futures prices. Another strong day for beef prices was seen as providing underlying support for the market. Boxed beef cutout values were up 80 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 28 cents higher at $191.96. This was up from $187.49 the prior week and is the highest beef market since October 21st, 2003. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 127,000 head yesterday. This was up from 124,000 head last week but unchanged from a year ago.
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