Cash Cattle Market Skyrockets

Live cattle were reported trading at $108 per hundredweight in U.S. Plains direct markets near midday Monday, up $1-3 from earlier in the day and $11-16 from the bulk of last week's trade.

Tight supplies of market-ready cattle, sharp price cash beef price increases and limit gains in Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures combined to force the higher bids. Beef cutout values were $6.13-$7.59 higher at mid-morning Monday after rising $5.66-$8.54 on Friday.

CME October live cattle futures have held limit gains every day for a week and that has stopped some feedlots from selling cattle, because they are unable to lift short hedges, feedlot sources told Reuters News Service.

"The guys that are hedged are not selling cattle. The only cattle that are trading are unhedged," said an Oklahoma feedlot manager.