Cash cattle and beef prices improved. The five-area live fed steer price ended Friday at $142, up 1 cent per hundredweight from last Friday, while dressed steers were at $230, up $7. In the Texas Panhandle and Southwest Kansas live sales were at $145. In Nebraska, most live sales were from $144-$145 and dressed cattle were from $230-$231. Similar results were reported in the Western Cornbelt with live and dressed at $144-$145 and $230, respectively.
Oklahoma City finally returned to normal this week with total receipts at 10,562 compared to last week’s 3,687. Feeder steers were called steady to $2 higher and feeder heifers were steady. All calves were $5-$7 higher. Mississippi auction markets, calves were mostly steady, while feeder steers were about $3 higher and feeder heifers were $5-$6 higher. Cull cows were about $4 higher and bulls were steady to higher.
Live cattle futures ended the week mostly steady, with the front month (February) contract posting the only noticeable gains. The week was cut short by one day since markets were closed Monday for President’s day. Tuesday all contracts showed the most strength as the turnaround in boxed beef prices and positive sentiment in equities provided upward momentum. The dip in wholesale boxed beef coupled with weakness in the housing market brought about pressure to close the week. After markets closed, USDA reported that 10.8 million head of cattle were in feedlots with 1,000 head or more captivity on February 1, 2014, a drop of 3% but higher than the 10.6 million that was expected. For more on the report click HERE.
Corn prices were higher this week. Prices worked their way up until Friday when weakness in exports surfaced. Nevertheless, exports have been positive through the start of the calendar year. Ethanol blending is also providing support to the market. USDA began releasing outlook information this week as well. Dr. Williams has more on that HERE.
Beef prices finally found a way to stop the hemorrhaging and this week posted gains of $4.15 and $2.79, respectively, for Choice, at $212.98, and Select, at $210.69. The momentum built through Thursday before sliding lower on Friday.
[For Livestock Prices and Production Information CLICK HERE.]
Note: all cattle and beef prices are quoted in dollars per hundredweight and corn prices are quoted in dollars per bushel, unless stated otherwise.