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Optimism fading in the cattle markets

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Live cattle and feeder cattle contracts have shown substantial weakness through much of April.

Colorado State University agriculture economist Stephen Koontz noted this week that the optimism seen late in the winter that lasted early in the spring is now being replaced by realizations that it is going to take another two to three months to work through the large front-loaded fed animal inventories, that fed animal slaughter is at capacity, and that costs of gain are now substantially higher than the past several years.

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