Cattle Market Notes – Week of Mar 9, 2012

Cash Cattle:
Cash fed cattle trade slowed mid week as futures and wholesale beef started falling. Transactions were about $3/cwt lower in the Southern Plains at $126. In Nebraska, live sales registered at $126/cwt as well and dressed trade was at $202/cwt. In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were steady and stocker steers and heifers were $1-$3/cwt higher. Steer calves were $4-$8/cwt higher and heifer calves were $1-$3/cwt higher in OKC.  Feeder steers and heifers were $1-$5/cwt lower; slaughter cows and bulls were $1-$2/cwt lower.

Live cattle futures were lower this week. The week started on quite a sour note as futures were sharply lower both Monday and Tuesday. Very weak equity markets coupled with a stronger U.S. dollar early in the week added pressure to a market already concerned about future demand. Improvements in equity markets along with strong trade numbers allowed for a positive move mid-week, but the sentiment ended Friday as markets were down again. Losses for live futures were less  as contracts moved further out.

Corn futures were lower on the week. Bearish exchange rate and equity market news pressured corn prices early on. Positioning ahead of the monthly USDA supply and demand report helped prices mid week. Analyst expected corn ending stocks to drop 16 million bushels from last month’s estimate to 785 million. The report, released Friday morning, revealed no change to corn projections but markets seemed to shake off what should be considered bearish news as outside markets improved.

Wholesale beef prices were lower this week.  Choice finished the week at $196.65/cwt, down $1.86 from last week.  Select ended the week at $194.27/cwt, down $0.29.


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