Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending May 9, 2014

Cash Cattle:

Cash fed cattle continue to experience limited trading volume. The five-area weighted average steer price for the week ended Friday was $150.02, up $2.23 from the previous Friday, and dressed steers averaged $236.05, down $0.33. In Kansas, cattle sold at $146 live. In Nebraska, live and dressed were reported at $150 and $238, respectively.

Feeder steers were called $1-$4 higher in Oklahoma City on Monday and feeder heifers were $2-$5 higher. Calves in OKC were called firm. Feeder steers were $6-$8 higher while heifers were mostly even in Mississippi markets this week. Cull cows and bulls were steady to $4 higher.

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Futures:

Cattle futures ended the week mildly higher. It was a week of slow and steady progress for the most part. News of improved cash market action helped provide support, while boxed beef slid most of the week invoking concern. Corn took a dive on Friday helping end the week on a positive note for live and feeder cattle contracts. USDA released their monthly supply and demand estimates for many agricultural products on Friday (May 9). The report revealed an estimated 24.563 billion pounds of beef production for 2014, 4.5% lower than 2013. Revisions to 2014’s supply were in-line with events thus far in the year with upward adjustments to the first and second quarter supplies, totaling 43 million pounds, given the larger placements into feedlots, while second half of the year supplies were reduced 45 million pounds.

Corn futures ended the week higher as planting progress remains behind schedule. The supply and demand report for corn revealed increased demand for the crop in bins (old crop) thus shrinking corn inventories as we transition into new crop supplies. The report also was the first to project what the new crop might shape up to be. USDA is projecting 2014 corn production at 13.935 billion bushels. Despite the smaller carry-over from 2013’s crop, corn prices were lower on Friday as global corn inventories were raised 6.5%. For more detail on the report CLICK HERE.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices moved lower this week. Choice boxes averaged $226.57, down $5.30. Select boxes were $213.40, down $7.15.

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