Cattle Market Churns

Cattle prices exploded to a two-month high on Thursday morning as investors stampeded into the market. Cattle rose consistently for almost two weeks as buyers saw cheap values and grew worried that a winter storm in the Great Plains could restrict beef supplies.

However, herd mentality took over by midday Thursday when traders dumped cattle en masse, knocking prices swiftly lower, dropping the exchange-maximum three cents per pound.

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. This means that prices could have a sharp move when trading resumes Monday.