Freeze Fades from Memory

Record sub-zero temperatures brought into the Midwest this week by the polar vortex caused temporary excitement in heating oil and cattle prices but, by week’s end, the bitter cold nightmare was forgotten as supplies of meat and heating oil asserted downward pressure on prices.

Cattle prices jumped sharply on Thursday as the extreme sub-zero disrupted movement of animals out of feedlots to market, and heating oil rose on the spike in demand. But as temperatures in Chicago were swinging upward by nearly 75 degrees, traders’ focus on poor demand for expensive cuts of meat reversed prices downward.