Cash trade was light yet again as another winter blast in less than five days slowed movement in the major feeding region. Sales in the Texas Panhandle were higher at $128/cwt on a live basis Thursday. Live sales in Kansas were from $127-$129/cwt. In Nebraska, live and dressed cattle sold from $127-$129/cwt and $203-$204/cwt, respectively. In the Western Cornbelt trade was from $126-$128/cwt live and $202-$204/cwt dressed. The five-area price jumped higher this week at $127.84 on a live basis compared to $122.76 last week and at $203.30/cwt versus $195.58 last week for dressed.
The storm hindered many auction facilities across the Plains and Midwest. In Oklahoma City, all classes of feeder and socker calves were lower, but were not well tested. OKC sales were canceled on Tuesday. In Mississippi auction markets feeder steers were $5-$10/cwt lower, while heifers were mixed. Cull cows and bulls were $1-$2/cwt higher.
Live cattle futures finished higher this week. Cash prices for cattle and beef helped provide support along with another snowstorm that limited movement of cattle. The storm also is showing signs of decreased gains, which should push end weights off their record pace.
Corn futures turned the corner and moved higher this week. Early week strength in the export market provided a bullish tone. This carried through the bulk of the week as cash prices across the U.S. were strong. Friday was mixed as Wall Street had a good day, but the U.S. dollar strengthened (which hinders potential export sales) and soybeans were down.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were sharply higher this week. Choice finished with a weekly average of $185.49/cwt, up $2.98, and Select finished at $183.83/cwt, up $3.38.