Cash fed cattle were higher this week. The five-area weighted average steer price for the week ended Friday was $149.37, up $4.24 from the previous Friday, and dressed steers averaged $236.38, up $4.54. Live cattle sold at $147 in the Texas panhandle and at $148 in Kansas on Thursday. In Nebraska, live and dressed sales were reported at $150 and $236-$238, respectively, on Friday. Sales in the Western Cornbelt were $148-$150 and $235-$238, respectively for live and dressed.
Feeder steers in Mississippi auctions this week were $5-$7 higher and feeder heifers were steady to $5 higher. Steer calves were mostly $10 higher and heifer calves were steady to $5 higher. Cull cows and bulls were mostly steady. Feeders in Oklahoma City’s auction were $3-$6 higher with heavy weights up $8-$10. Calves in OKC were $10-$15 higher.
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What a week! Live cattle futures ended Friday higher with most contracts up $4-$5 (the largest gains of $6.80 were seen on the nearby June contract). Futures were able to shake off a negative tone (mediocre at best) to equity markets and the general economy. Cash markets provided support as well as the continued premium of cash versus futures. The biggest gains were seen in feeder cattle futures. Now all posted contract months are above the $200 mark as all contracts were $7-$8 higher on the week. Rains across Texas and the southwest have invigorated the market. All eyes will be on Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, so expect some maneuvering leading up to that.
Corn futures were about 9 to 14 cents lower this week. Wednesday’s USDA supply/demand and crop reports were on par with the May report. Rains in the Southern Plains provided some comfort about the crops in those states and both progress and condition ratings continue to add pressure. For more on the supply and demand report check out Dr. William’s write-up HERE.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were steady for this week. Choice boxes averaged $231.80, down $0.01. Select boxes edged higher throughout the week and ended with an average of $222.86, up $0.48.
Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.