Fed cattle were higher this week. In the Southern Plains live cattle sold at $124/cwt on Thursday, a few in Kansas were at $124.50/cwt. In Nebraska, live and dressed cattle traded between $122-$124/cwt and $190-$192/cwt, respectively. Iowa and Minnesota live cattle sold from $120-$123/cwt and at $190/cwt for dressed. In Oklahoma City, there were not enough feeder steers and heifers sold to call a trend but calves were $2-$4/cwt higher. Feeder steers were steady and heifers were $1-$5/cwt higher in Mississippi auctions this week. Slaughter cows were mixed and bulls were $2-$4/cwt lower.
Live cattle futures were higher by about $1 to $1.50, depending on the contract month. Prices started to move higher on Monday and followed that trend through Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday trading was lower. Concerns regarding cash trade began to creep in mid-week and pressured prices. Friday’s improved jobs report – unemployment fell to 7.8% matching the rate from January 2009 – did its best to provide a bounce, but failed to really spark much of a rally.
Corn futures were steady following last week’s jump. Last week’s grain stocks report revealed that 0.988 billion bushes of corn were in storage across the U.S., much less than the anticipated 1.126 (on the other hand, soybean stocks were higher than expected at 0.169 billion bushels reported versus the pre-report average of 0.132). That pushed corn prices up limit last Friday (Sep 28) and prices held at that level for the remainder of this week with limited news rolling in for the market. That will change next week when the USDA releases another supply/demand report on Thursday.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower this week with Select beef taking the larger hit. Choice finished with a weekly average of $190.34/cwt, down $1.43. Select beef averaged $176.73/cwt for the week, down $4.04.