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Live cattle futures ended 75 cents to $1.45 lower on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures followed Wednesday’s limit lower trade with losses of 22.5 cents to $1.10. The CME feeder cattle index was $1.55 lower than the previous day at $147.93. Wholesale beef prices were lower in the Thursday afternoon report, with choice down $1.03 at $200.63 and select boxes 42 cents lower at $196.19. Week to date FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 472,000 head through Thursday, 7,000 more than last week and 23,000 larger than the same week last year. The USDA reported a few cash sales of $116 on Thursday. Estimated Fourth quarter beef production was increased to 7.165 billion pounds in yesterday’s WASDE report. That’s the largest quarterly tonnage since at least 2003 and presents a challenge to the industry to get it eaten.
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