Ahead of what’s usually the strongest beef sale period of the year, retailers are already seeing robust beef demand. Strength in domestic purchasing has pulled cash cattle prices higher. Cattle in the North traded at $153 to $154 live and $241 to $243 dressed, steady to $2 higher. Southern cattle were light to moderate at $150 per cwt, steady with last week.

Feedlot performance is holding strong thanks in part to dry, warm weather across the Great Plains, limiting price upside in live cattle futures. Weekly slaughter last week was up 15,000 at an estimated 667,000 head. December live cattle futures rose 55 cents to $151.95 and January feeders dropped 57.5 cents to $179.425.

Read more on the beef cattle market here.