Cash fed cattle moved markedly higher this week especially when compared to prices over the past number of weeks. Live cattle in the Texas traded at $118/cwt. Live and dressed trade in Nebraska was called at $119/cwt and $185/cwt, respectively. In Oklahoma City, feeders were $2-$4/cwt higher and calves were $2-$3/cwt lower on a light test. Mississippi feeders steers sold $5-$10/cwt higher and heifers were $3-$6/cwt higher. Cull cows and bulls in Mississippi were called at $5-$9/cwt higher.
Live cattle futures slid lower early in the week before moving higher Thursday and Friday. The uptick late in the week could not overcome the early week losses and contracts ended lower. The nearby contracts fared better than more deferred ones this week, which is a reversal from prior activity. Despite the push of cattle into feedlots due to the dry conditions plaguing approximately 70% of the U.S. – with about 40% at severe or higher drought levels – many of these will not be ready for at least two to three more months. This excess supply that is expected to hit the market in the fall is keeping late 2012 and early 2013 contracts under pressure. A stronger than expected jobless report on Friday buoyed financial markets and commodity prices fell in line and moved higher as well.
After starting the week on a high note, corn followed the broader markets lower Tuesday and Wednesday before rebounding just a bit to close out the week. The jump on Monday prevailed and kept prices above last Friday’s close.
Boxed beef prices averaged mostly steady compared with last week. Choice wholesale beef finished with a weekly average of $177.89/cwt, down $0.17. Select ended the week on the exact opposite end, up $0.17/cwt at $171.14.