Cash fed cattle prices held steady to $1 higher in trading last week, with cattle from southern feedyards moving at $121 per hundredweight, and northern cattle at $121 to $122 live and $194 to $195 on a dressed basis. Financial markets remained under pressure last week, but packers were buying to put supply in the pipeline ahead of the Father’s Day weekend. Supplies of fed cattle are increasing and that may pressure prices moving forward.
Boxed beef cutout values finished the week stronger than the previous week. Choice boxed beef traded Friday at $197.25, up $2.62 per hundredweight from the previous Friday. The Select price on Friday was $185.36, a decline of $0.10 per hundredweight from the previous week. The Choice-Select spread widened to $11.89, compared to $9.17 per hundredweight the previous week. Packers posted profits thought to be more than $20 per head on cattle processed. Losses for cattle feeders continue.
During a holiday-shortened marketing week, calves sold unevenly steady while yearling feeder cattle traded steady to $4 higher.
“Cash feeder cattle sales (especially on a direct basis) have been about the only element of the commercial cattle arena that has reacted appropriately to May’s bullish cattle-on-feed report,” says USDA Market News Reporter Corbitt Wall. “Data from the report also suggested that there will be significantly heavier supplies of market-ready cattle through the first part of the summer. Plus, weights of finished cattle have been heavy for this time of year which has partially made up for tighter numbers and smaller harvest.”
Wall says the demand for replacement feedlot cattle remains strong. “Northern feedlots and independent farmer feeders are battling each other for the light offerings of available feeder cattle. At the United Producers Inc., Maryville, MO, market in extreme northwestern Missouri, a load of 915 lb steers brought $150.25 per hundredweight, followed by a load weighing 950 lbs at $146.25, and another tipping the scales at 1040 lbs that sold for $137.”
Last week’s auction receipts totaled 115,800 compared to 187,100 the previous week and 116,900 last year. Direct sales of stocker and feeder cattle totaled 36,400 with video/Internet sales at 9,400. The weekly total was 161,600, compared to 137,800 last year.
Slaughter cows and bulls sold steady to $1 lower. USDA’s cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday was $180.51, up $1.22 per hundredweight from the previous week.
Cash corn prices declined during the week, with Omaha closing at $5.88 per bushel on Friday, down 25 cent per bushel from the previous week.