The five-area cash price ended the week at $129.02/cwt on a live basis, up from $127.25 last Friday. In the Southern Plains, live cattle traded at $128/cwt on Wednesday. In Nebraska, on Wednesday, live sales were at $128.50-$130.50/cwt; on Thursday dressed sales were at $206-$207/cwt. In the Western Cornbelt, live and dressed cattle traded at $128.50-$130/cwt and $205-$206/cwt on Thursday.
In Oklahoma City, feeder steers and heifers were called steady to $2/cwt higher; calves were not well tested. In Mississippi auction markets, steer calves were about $6/cwt higher, heifer calves were about $4/cwt higher, feeder steers were mixed, and feeder heifers were $2-$5/cwt lower. Slaughter cows were about $2/cwt higher, while bulls were mostly steady.
Live cattle futures ended the week lower. Prices attempted a rally mid-week as boxed beef prices inched higher. The deck remains stacked against sustained higher prices, however. The continued cold and otherwise miserable weather appears to be keeping a lid on beef movement. Feeder futurers were much lower with the dip in live cattle futures and higher corn.
Corn futures finished higher. The cold and wet spring continues to delay planting across all of the U.S. Concerns of how this will impact yield has pushed prices higher. The monthly Crop Production report will be released this week and will contain the first USDA estimate of corn yield.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher this week. Choice finished with a weekly average of $198.59/cwt, up $6.96, and Select finished at $188.97/cwt, up $4.73.