Livestock and meat prices were mostly higher Friday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange prior to the release of a government report on cattle inventories.
The report from the Agriculture Department, which disclosed the number of cattle on feedlots in the seven major beef producing states, is likely to fuel a further advance Monday, analysts said.
"Every single aspect of the report is bullish," said Charlie Richardson, a livestock analyst with Lind-Waldock.
According to the report, 6% fewer cattle were on feedlots at the end of July than a year earlier. The report also said that 8% more cattle were sold from feedlots and that 9% fewer were put onto feedlots.
Analysts expect cattle prices to advance by 0.5 cent to 1 cent a pound when trading resumes Monday, said Robin Fuller, a livestock analyst with Agri Analysis.
"The negative profit situation and very weak prices in July resulted in, number one, dumping of cattle and, number two, a severe restriction of placements," Fuller said.
The strength in the cattle market also spilled into the hog market, analysts said, as cash hogs were lower and pork products were steady.