Cattle Lunge Lower

After showing signs of life recently, the cattle market turned sharply lower at the end of the week, plunging on Friday.

The drop came as U.S. beef prices fell to a three-year low, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Weak consumer demand for beef and overwhelming supplies of cattle are causing meatpackers to lower the price they’ll pay cattle producers, driving the futures market lower.

The market was especially active Friday as ranchers, meatpackers, and traders positioned themselves ahead of the USDA’s monthly Cattle on Feed Report, which was released after the market closed.