Cattle Market Notes – Week of May 18, 2012

Cash Cattle:

Cash fed cattle were higher this week. Kansas live prices were at $123/cwt on Friday but trade remained slow. In Nebraska, live and dressed prices were called at $123.50/cwt and $195/cwt, respectively. In Oklahoma City, feeders steers and heifers were called steady to $2/cwt higher. Calves were not called due to limited movement. In Mississippi marktes, feeder steers and heifers were $1-$2/cwt higher. Slaughter cows were $1-$2/cwt higher and bulls were steady in Mississippi auctions.


Live cattle futures were higher this week. Stronger beef prices provided the bulk of the support, despite a sharp drop in wholesale beef prices on Wednesday, which rebounded Thursday and moved much higher again on Friday. Lower crude oil prices also added support since the lower price at the pump should provide more disposable income for purchases like beef. Further, prices were supported by an expected fairly large drop in drop in placements of cattle into feedlots during April, revealed in this month’s Cattle on Feed report (more detail on that report is in my post “May Cattle on Feed Report“).

Corn futures were higher this week. Crude oil prices have been tanking lately that kept pressure on prices. Also, the fast pace to planting has pushed the market lower in recent weeks along with a bearish supply demand report last week. That sentiment continued but higher wheat prices provided a lot help to prices this week.


Wholesale beef prices were moderately higher this week getting help by rising sharply on Friday. Choice prices were up $1.08/cwt at $191.45 for the week. Select finished at $186.05/cwt, up $1.34.

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