Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Apr 17, 2015

Cash Cattle:

Cash traded fed cattle finished the week steady to lower. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $162.71 for live sales, and $255.96 for dressed; respectively, down $0.42 and $8.05. Concerns continue to mount of cash trade volume. Very few cattle traded hands in the “true” cash market (i.e., for delivery in the near term). Most reported cash transactions are for delivery three weeks from now.

Calf and feeder prices were mostly lower. In Mississippi auction markets, feeder steers were steady to $7 lower and steer calves were $7 to $20 lower. Heifers in Mississippi were steady to $7 lower. Oklahoma City feeder steers and heifers sold steady to $5 lower, while calves were steady.

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Cattle futures ended the week on par with last Friday’s close, but that was not without some drama. Volatility is theme this week, and to be honest, traders like volatility. The week ended, once again, with steep losses on Friday. European concerns peaked as Greece appears near default. This coupled with, at best, neutral economic news from the U.S. put all equities and commodities at a loss. Higher boxed beef prices helped, but increases in oil prices brought on fears of a pinched budget for John and Jane Consumer. On the bright side, beef exports are on pace for a solid year of gains.

Corn futures were mostly steady this week.


Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher. Choice boxes averaged $259.02, up $1.52. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $250.35, down $0.89.

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