Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Jan 25, 2013


Cash Cattle:

Live cash prices moved lower for the second week in a row, while dressed cattle held mostly steady. In Texas and Kansas, live prices were at $122/cwt on Wednesday. On Thursday, live cattle in Nebraska were called at $122-$124.50/cwt; however dressed prices looked to hold steady at $198-$199/cwt. Western Cornbelt fed cattle sold at $123-$124/cwt and $198-$200 for live and dressed respectively. The five-area price was at $122.53/cwt on a live basis and at $197.93/cwt for dressed.

Feeder steers and heifers were $3-$5/cwt lower in Oklahoma City, while calves were called steady to $2/cwt lower. In Mississippi auction markets feeder steers and heifers were called steady. Cull cows sold $1-$2/cwt lower and bulls were called steady.

Futures:

Live cattle futures finished moderately higher this week. Following the declines of last week, the market decided a low had been set and it was time to buy. The ‘overbought’ sentiment continued to rally prices the remainder of the week becuase there was very little support elsewhere in cash markets. Fed trade was roughly $3/cwt lower than last week and boxed beef prices slid all week long. The week closed  with the release of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (link) which should be viewed as bullish for next week’s trade. The positive tone in the live cattle pit coupled with lower corn prices helped to give feeder futures a strong week.

Corn futures moved slightly lower this week. Heavy selling on Wednesday brought prices down and Friday’s export report showed slowing demand on the global market.

Beef:

Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower this week with Choice carcasses taking the brunt of the blow, dropping $3.73/cwt compared to last week, while Select dropped $1.86/cwt. Choice finished with a weekly average of $188.96/cwt and Select finished at $182.71/cwt.

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