Cash transactions were once again limited and few trends were reported this week. The five-area fed steer price ended the week at $163.98 for live sales and $260 for dressed, respectively, up $2.48 and $4.72. A few dressed sales in Nebraska and the Western Cornbelt traded at $262-$263.
Steers in Mississippi auction markets were steady to higher. Calves were up $5-$12, lightweight feeders were steady, and heavy feeders were $10-$20 higher. Heifer calves were lower, and feeders were steady to higher. Oklahoma City feeder steers and heifers were $4-$8 higher, while calves were $1-$2 higher.
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Feeder futures ended the week higher, with most contracts up a modest $2 compared to last Friday’s close. Live cattle futures were steady to lower during the week, but ended slightly above last Friday’s close. Feeders took a dip mid-week as corn prices were on the rise, but a sharp loss in the corn pits on Wednesday provided support. Boxed beef prices were higher this week which provided some steam for live and feeder cattle.
Corn futures were flat again this week. Next Tuesday marks the release of the planting intentions report which will surely move the market. Early guesses have U.S. corn acres in the high 80 million acre range. Also, USDA will release their quarterly Grain Stocks report.
Wholesale boxed beef prices improved this week. Choice boxes averaged $248.92, up $2.88. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $245.76, up $1.28.
Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.