Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Nov 16, 2012


Recap:

  • Light trade for cash cattle
  • Feeders steady to lower
  • Beef mostly steady
  • Cattle futures steady
  • Corn mostly steady
  • Cattle on feed down 5%

Cash Cattle:

Fed cattle trade was very limited this week with no regions showing enough cash trade to call any trends. The 5-Area live cattle price was down about 50 cents per hundredweight from last week at $123.94 and the dressed price was up 13 cents at $195.13/cwt. In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were steady to $2/cwt lower, steer and  heifer calves were steady to $3/cwt lower. Feeder steers and heifers were steady in Mississippi auctions this week. Slaughter cows were steady and bulls were $1/cwt higher.

Futures:

Live cattle futures prices were up and down this week. Most contract months gained a little under $1/cwt from last week’s close. The nearby December contract fell the most dropping $1.38/cwt from last Friday as cash prices continue to struggle. Light trade this week provided little in the way of market shaping news and most trade was speculative ahead of Friday afternoon’s Cattle on Feed report. The report revealed 5% fewer cattle on feed than a year ago, at 11.254 million head, and placements were down 13% from 2011, at 2.180 million head (for more on the report click here).

Corn futures continued to trade in a predominantly sideways pattern and ended the week down about 15 cents per bushel across most contracts through 2013. The Environmental Protection Agency denied the request that had been submitted by a number of livestock and poultry groups to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard’s minimum number of gallons of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline. The agency declared that a reduction would have minimal impacts on corn price as one of the reasons for their decision.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices were steady for Choice beef and down a bit for Select. Choice finished with a weekly average of $193.17/cwt, up $0.03. Select beef averaged $173.76/cwt for the week, down $1.72. As the Thanksgiving holiday comes into view beef, sales typically slow down and this will likely keep beef prices in check.

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