Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Nov 02, 2012


  • Cash feds $1-$2/cwt lower
  • Feeders steady to lower
  • Beef down $3-$5/cwt
  • Cattle futures steady to lower
  • Corn mostly steady
  • Unemployment at 7.9% vs 7.8% last month, US adds 171,000 jobs

Cash Cattle:

Fed cattle prices leveled off and even slipped in some locations. Limited movement across the region was seen as the week closed out. Early week trade showed prices in the Southern Plains at $127/cwt in Texas and $126/cwt in Kansas for live cattle. In Nebraska, live and dressed cattle traded at $125-$127/cwt and $195-$197/cwt, respectively, on Thursday. Iowa and Minnesota cattle sold at $125-$126/cwt and $196-$198/cwt, respectively, for live and dressed. In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were steady to $2/cwt lower, steer calves were steady and  heifer calves were steady t $3/cwt lower. Feeder steers were steady and feeder heifers were $1-$4/cwt higher in Mississippi auctions this week, while slaughter cows were $1-$4/cwt lower and bulls were $1-$3/cwt lower.


Live cattle futures prices were mixed as the new front month, December, contract increased 17 cents per hundredweight while the remaining contracts through August 2013 were marginally down. A break in boxed beef prices on Wednesday coincided with a drop in futures prices. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 171,000 [non-farm] jobs were added in October (August and September numbers were also revised upwards to 192,000 and 148,000, respectively). Analysts were expecting the number of jobs added to be 125,000 which brought about good news. On the other hand, despite the increase in jobs the unemployment rate increased from 7.8% last month to 7.9% in October. The jobs news, released early Friday morning, pressured cattle futures as it is seen as a potential drag on beef demand.

Corn futures were mostly steady this week. Prices rose on Wednesday as South American weather concerns were being reported. Weak export sales led to a reversal on Thursday and the muddled jobs report added to the pressure to end the week.


Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower. Prices slipped about $4/cwt on Wednesday for Choice. Choice finished with a weekly average of $195.34/cwt, down $3.15. Select beef averaged $177.09/cwt for the week, down $5.12.


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