Cash fed cattle traded at steady to firmer prices last week with light movement. Cattle in the South traded at $112 to $112.50 per hundredweight, while cattle in the North collected the same money with dressed prices at $178.
Boxed beef cutout values were steady to weaker on Friday at $178.60 per hundredweight, with Select cutout at $172.31. The Choice-Select spread was quoted at $6.29 per hundredweight.
Firm boxed beef prices suggest packers will begin the holiday-shortened week a bit aggressive, though most feeders expect showlists to be larger in July than during June. Supply pressure will continue to build through the month which could pressure prices.
Yearling feeder cattle prices sustained a rally last week, moving at prices $5 higher than the previous week. Steer and heifer calves traded at steady to $6 higher, and instances of $10 higher.
USDA market reporter Corbitt Wall said, “The most impressive signal of this week’s higher trade was the fact that it took place on fairly heavy receipts for this time of year with no help from the CME futures or fed cattle trade until the tail-end of the week. Producers and backgrounders with cattle to sell took the opportunity, but demand still outweighed current supplies despite a heavy movement of out-front direct trade and near 200,000 head offered in the weeklong Superior Video.”
Slaughter cow prices were mixed, but primarily steady despite some heavy runs of cows in drought stricken areas. Reported auctions in Oklahoma sold over 7,500 cows and bulls last week, compared to less than 2,700 the same week a year ago.
Auction receipts were 190,800 last week, compared with 189,200 the previous week, and 123,900 a year ago.
The biggest market news of the week was made in the corn market when USDA’s quarterly Grain Stocks and Acreage reports became a double-barrel blast to prices on Thursday. Larger than expected numbers for both corn stocks as of June 1 and planted corn acreage caught traders and hedgers off-guard and the market tumbled at the end of the week. Omaha cash corn fell 63 cents on the week, closing at $6.10 per bushel.