Cattle Drive Lower

Beef prices ground to a new low this week as investors bailed out of the cattle market.

Last month, buyers had been making bets on rising prices on hopes of rising demand, but they have largely been disappointed by large supplies and falling prices, which have lost almost 10% during the last month.

As traders unwind their long positions, they are accelerating the downward swing, exacerbating the drop. Meanwhile, end users like meatpackers are taking advantage of the cheap meat, buying as prices fall. For cattle producers, the recent cycle of exuberant rallies and drastic drops has presented opportunities for those who actively sold into the rally, and headaches for those on the sidelines.

As of midday Friday, live cattle futures for delivery in December traded under $1.16 per pound, the lowest price in almost two months.