Cattle Market Notes – Week of Mar 16, 2012

Cash Cattle:
Cash fed cattle were steady to slightly lower when compared to last week. Live sales in the Southern Plains were called at $126/cwt. In Nebraska, live sales were at $126-$127/cwt and dressed trade was at $202/cwt. In Oklahoma City, all classes looked to be mostly steady.  Feeder steers and heifers were called mixed; slaughter cows and bulls were steady.

Live and feeder cattle futures were lower this week. Outside market strength help push prices higher on Tuesday. This was negated in trading on Thursday as cash trade was unimpressive. Lower wholesale beef prices throughout the week also led to weakness in live and feeder cattle futures markets. Losses for the front two contracts was less than those further out as the warm weather has brought on expectations that grilling demand will begin earlier than normal.

Corn futures were higher on the week. Corn moved sharply higher on Monday, especially for nearby contracts as demand continues to support selling now versus storing (often referred to as an inverted market). Corn contracts were steady Tuesday and Wednesday before rallying again on Thursday as a result of Chinese demand and stronger soybean prices. Corn had been losing ground to soybeans over the past few weeks, but appears to not want to continue to give up any more potential acres.

Wholesale beef prices were much lower this week.  Choice finished the week at $191.24/cwt, down $5.41 from last week.  Select ended the week at $189.81/cwt, down $4.46.


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