Post 797 of 799

Well it took roughly four months longer than expected, but we finally saw the choice cutout trade above the $200 mark yesterday, surpassing that level for the first time since 2003. The choice up $1.09 yesterday to $200.58 is now just $0.50 away from setting a new all-time record, surpassing that short-lived price explosion back in the fall of 2003 when the US had shut off Canadian imports and hadn’t yet discovered our own BSE case that would come later that winter. It’s hard to say that springtime demand has arrived when we have snow on the ground here in KC this morning, but clearly we’re catching some improved seasonal demand from both the export and domestic markets. Solid weekly export sales reported yesterday at 16,000 MT. The futures market itself traded higher from the start yesterday with higher beef and stubborn, weather-weary producers prompting a higher-yet cash trade. Cash trading mostly $128 on Wednesday, but as high as $129 in KS yesterday and $130-131 live and $207 dressed in the North, the latter reportedly a record high trade ever. June futures traded to a fresh monthly high in response, but still trading at a much larger than normal discount to the cash markets.