Fed cattle cash prices slid lower again this week. The five-area fed steer price came in Friday at $149.32 for live sales, down $2.11, while dressed steers were at $240.29, down $3.19 versus two weeks ago. Once again, state-level cash markets did not record enough trade by mid-Friday for a trend to be called.
Feeder and stocker steers and heifers in Oklahoma City were steady to $2 higher, feeder and stocker heifers were $2-$3 higher, and calves were steady. In Mississippi auction markets, feeder steers were $10 lower, feeder heifers were mixed, and all calves and stockers were mostly steady. Cull cows were $2 lower while bulls were $4-6 lower.
[ … For Livestock Prices and Production data and trends CLICK HERE … ]
Cattle futures moved higher this week despite there being limited positive news bouncing around. First, boxed beef cannot seem to find it’s footing which has added the most significant pressure to cash and futures prices up until this week. Second, equity markets continue to decline, which typically signals weakness at the consumer level. Never the less, cattle futures were able to shake these and move higher largely due to support from limited supplies, exports that remain strong, and higher wholesale prices from competitors pork and chicken. A bit of good news did surface Friday with the monthly Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey showing an improvement to 82.6 compared to 80.0 last month and an expected 81.0 reading.
Corn futures lost some of their steam. Wednesday’s supply and deamand report from USDA revealed few bushels expected to be carried over at the end of the current marketing year (ends in August). Dr. Williams has more detail on that report (CLICK HERE). Next month’s report will provide the first of USDA’s expectations for the current growing season.
Wholesale beef continued to move lower throughout the week. Choice boxed beef averaged $225.50 for the week, down $6.63. Select averaged $214.99, down $7.09.
Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.