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.
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.
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.