Cash cattle were lower this week but cash market trades were slim. The five-area price was at $121.37/cwt and $193.57/cwt respectively for live and dressed steers, down $2.84 and $0.74. To be certain this is not taken incorrectly, trades are taking place but recently there have not been enough through midday Friday to provide a definitive price point.
Feeder steers and heifers in Oklahoma City were $2-$4/cwt higher. In Mississippi auction markets, feeder steers were $2-$4/cwt higher and feeder heifers were called steady. Cull bulls were steady and cows were $2-$4/cwt higher.￼￼
In spite of the near non-existent pure cash market trade for the last few weeks (at least what appears to be non-existent) and the lower prices being reported there, cattle futures ended the week higher. The June 2013 contract has lingered in the $119.50-$121.50/cwt range since early May despite cash prices in the mid $120’s. Well, cash prices finally broke late last week but were still at a premium – albeit a smaller one – to futures. As the clock ticks on June’s expiration, futures prices inched higher in order to fulfill convergence. This could be short lived following Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, which showed more cattle hanging around in feedlots than was expected. This will likely push all contracts lower as markets open to begin the new week.
Corn futures were higher this week as early week gains offset late week losses. Cash market transactions were above futures which provided the spark. This was followed by weather concerns, which added to the higher tone. Some felt prices had moved too high and sold the market. Even thought the crop was planted later than preferred, ratings indicate the majority of it is progressing well.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were mixed this week. Choice finished with a weekly average of $199.83/cwt, down $1.79, and Select finished at $185.04/cwt, up $1.03.