Packers upped their bids well before happy hour Friday, buying cattle from $114 to $116 live and $181 to $182 dressed, steady to $2 higher than last week. Southern cattle sold mostly at $114, with a few trading late at $115, $2 to $3 higher.
Analysts call the underlying fundamentals strong with daily evidence of strengthening beef demand.
The market was supported by strengthening boxed beef prices as both Choice and Select increased more than $6 per cwt. Feeder cattle were called steady to $4 higher, with calves $1 to $4 higher.
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