Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending April 17, 2014

Cash Cattle:

Cash fed cattle prices continue to decline. For this holiday shortened reporting week, the accumulated weighted average price across the major feeding regions for steers was $147.66 live, down $1.66 from the previous Friday, and $240.41, up $0.12. Cash trades were limited through early Thursday but most locations were being reported just below the regional average at $146 live and $237-$238 dressed.

All feeders and calves were steady in Oklahoma City early in the week.

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Futures:

Cattle futures were down $0.75 to $1.50 compared to last Friday’s close – depending on the specific contract – for live cattle futures and feeder futures ranged from $0.43 to $2.25 declines. It was a roller-coaster week with prices increasing Monday, falling Tuesday, higher again Wednesday, and then much lower Thursday, the final trading day of the week. Exports were reported much higher on Thursday but that did little to quiet the screams from the dismal cash and beef market which largely led the futures trade this week.

Corn futures were mostly steady versus last Friday’s close. Wednesday was the harshest with favorable weather expected across the Cornbelt giving the market a splash of bearish sentiment.

Beef:

Through mid-week wholesale beef prices were on a downward path up until Wednesday when both Choice and Select prices saw a mild increase. The four day average (April 11-16) was $222.81 and $213.03, respectively for Choice and Select.

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