Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Sep 21, 2012

USDA released their monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday (Sep 21). Our new marketing specialist Brian Williams and I discuss the report in a podcast (here). Price and production tables will be added early this upcoming week.

Cash Cattle:

Fed cattle were slow to move this week in the cash market. Most locations were too light to call a trend, but the reported five-area price was mostly steady with last week.  In Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska a few live sales traded at $126/cwt on Thursday and dressed sales in Nebraska were at $195/cwt on Thursday. Limited cash trade in Iowa and Minnesota were reported at $124-$125/cwt for live and $194-$195/cwt for dressed. In Oklahoma City feeder steers were $2-$3/cwt higher, while feeder heifers were steady to $2/cwt higher. Feeder steers and heifers in Mississippi auctions this week were mixed and slaughter cows and bulls were $1-$2/cwt lower.


Live cattle futures started the week lower as some selling of last week’s gains took place. Fairly steady movement the remainder of the week took place though as traders positioned ahead of the Cattle on Feed report, released Friday afternoon (Sep 21). The dip was most pronounced on the nearby (October) live cattle contract and less severe for more distant months. Feeder cattle prices tended to slip lower as the week progressed, until Friday, as the weakness in live futures which offset a bit by lower corn prices early in the week.

Corn futures were hit hard on Monday. After months of detrimental weather throughout the Corn Belt, harvest has begun those states – some earlier than expected as corn dried down faster. The recent spell of favorable weather was seen as a positive and resulted in lower prices for all grains and oilseeds on Monday. Prices picked up on Wednesday as Wall Street rallied, but the movement was short lived.


Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher this week. Choice finished with a weekly average of $194.11/cwt, up $2.61. Select beef averaged $183.71/cwt for the week, up $3.67.


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