Cattle Market Notes – Week of Feb 10, 2012


Cash Cattle:
Cash fed cattle trade remains slow.  Cattle in the Texas Panhandle sold at $124/cwt, about $1 higher.  Kansas cattle were steady at $123/cwt.  Live and dressed cattle in Nebraska traded at $123-$123.50/cwt and $197-$198/cwt, respectively.  In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were steady, steer calves were $4-$8/cwt higher, and heifer calves were steady to $2/cwt higher.  Feeder steers and heifers sold $2-$8/cwt higher in Mississippi markets. Mississippi cull cows and bulls were $1-$3/cwt higher.


Futures:
Live cattle futures were mostly steady again this week.  The nearby February contract was the only one to end the week in positive territory (up $0.25/cwt over last Friday’s close).  The remaining months were about $1/cwt lower.  Feeder cattle were also lower compared to last Friday’s close despite corn falling this week.  Uncertainty about the global economy and a stronger U.S. dollar kept most commodities in check this week.

Corn futures took a bit of a hit Thursday with the release of the supply and demand report from USDA.  Although the report was in-line with expectations, other crops were under pressure which led to a negative tone for corn futures. Ending stocks were projected at 801 million bushels in the report versus an expected 797 (see this write-up on the WASDE report as it relates to crops).  Corn had been sliding lower throughout the week prior to Thursday’s report as a result of concerns in the European Union and a strengthening dollar.


Beef:
Wholesale beef prices improved this week.  Choice improved each day of the week and Select dipped on Friday but was higher Monday through Thursday. Choice finished the week at $185.98/cwt, up $2.64 from last week.  Select ended the week at $180.97/cwt, up $2.56.

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