Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Nov 30, 2012


Recap:

  • Light trade continues for cash cattle
  • Feeders and calves much higher in OKC
  • Beef slightly higher
  • Cattle futures lower
  • Corn mostly steady

Cash Cattle:

Fed cattle trade remains light following the Thanksgiving holiday week. Kansas live cattle traded around $125/cwt, down $2/cwt from last week. Limited trade in Nebraska saw live and dressed sales respectively at $125.50/cwt and $199/cwt, both slightly lower than last week but too few traded to make a comparison. On other hand, the regional Five-Area price improved by just a few pennies for live cattle and by about $1/cwt for dressed. In Oklahoma City, feeder steers were $1-$4/cwt higher, feeder heifers were $2-$5/cwt higher, and calves were $4-$10/cwt higher. Feeder steers and heifers were steady in Mississippi auctions this week compared to two weeks ago. Slaughter cows were steady and bulls were $1-3/cwt higher.

Futures:

Live and feeder cattle futures prices were lower this week. This follows what should be considered a very strong week during Thanksgiving when beef typically takes a back seat to traditional holiday fare. Despite this, demand concerns ruled for this week. This coupled with late week reports of lower cash prices let the wind out of the sails for cattle futures prices. The looming issues related to personal income taxes, government spending and the like in our nation’s capitol have markets on edge. Beef prices will remain focused on demand even in the midst of a huge supply crunch.

Corn futures were moderately higher this week. Weakness in the export market continues to pressure prices but South American corn production – specifically in Argentina – could be in jeopardy and that provided an early week push.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices were slightly higher. Choice finished with a weekly average of $195.65/cwt, up $0.73. Select beef averaged $174.73/cwt for the week, up $0.89.

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