Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Mar 21, 2014

Cash Cattle:

Fed cattle cash prices ended the week higher. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $150.10 for live sales, up $2.18, — very near the recent record level — and $240.11 for dressed, up $0.31 to a new record. Cattle in the Southern Plains traded at $150 late in the week. In Nebraska, live sales were at $152 and dressed were at $240-$242. Too few cash market trades were made in the Western Corn Belt to establish a price.

Feeder steers and heifers in Oklahoma City were $1-$3 higher, heavy feeders were steady to $1 higher, and calves were steady. In Mississippi auction markets, steers  and heifers were called steady, while cull cows and bulls were $1-$2 higher.

[ … For Livestock Prices and Production Information CLICK HERE … ]

Futures:

Cattle futures ended the week lower. Limited cash trade early in the week kept the market in a steady state. Then, on Thursday, strength in the U.S. dollar pressured a number of commodity markets. That news coupled with positioning ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, led to triple digit losses on the day. Prices recovered a bit on Friday. However, the on feed report will most likely be viewed by traders as bearish given that placements and total inventories were above the average analyst expectation (for more detail on the report, CLICK HERE).

Corn futures were down 5 to 10 cents per bushel on Friday when compared to last Friday’s close. The stronger U.S. dollar also hurt the corn export outlook. In addition, while on the topic of global corn trade, fears that China will start to cancel orders crept into the market Thursday as well.

Beef:

Wholesale beef was mixed this week with Choice boxes moving higher while Select slipped. Choice boxed beef averaged $242.41 for the week, up $1.69. Select average $235.60, down $1.17. As a result the spread moved higher to $6.80, which is slightly ahead of it’s typical seasonal pattern right now but only by a few weeks.

Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.