Cattle Market Notes – Week of Feb 17, 2012

Cash Cattle:
Cash fed cattle trade picked up this week and prices improved substantially.  Cattle in the Texas Panhandle sold at $129/cwt, about $5 higher.  Kansas cattle were higher by the same amount at $128/cwt.  Live and dressed cattle in Nebraska traded at $127-$129/cwt and $203/cwt, respectively, up $4-$5 for live and $6 for dressed.  In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were $1-$2/cwt higher, steer calves were $4-$8/cwt lower, and heifer calves were steady.  Feeder steers and heifers sold $3-$7/cwt higher in Mississippi markets. Mississippi cull cows and bulls were $1-$3/cwt higher.

Cattle futures rallyed this week.  The week started on a positive note as Greece approved measures to stem its financial woes.  The U.S. dollar weakened at the same time and pushed most commodities higher – cattle included.  Higher cash fed and wholesale beef prices mid- to late-week added to the momentum.

Corn futures battled pressure in the middle of the week to end slightly higher than last Friday’s close.  Positive news out of Europe and a weaker U.S. dollar provided early week optimism.  However, an expectation of increased supplies for the upcoming growing season – or more specifically, a battle for acres from soybeans and cotton – put pressure on the market mid week.  Still, the week was bookended by positive news and movement which left just above the close from a week ago.

Wholesale beef prices improved this week.  Choice finished the week at $189.04/cwt, up $3.06 from last week.  Select ended the week at $184.05/cwt, up $3.08.

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