The five-area cash price ended the week mixed with live cattle trading at $119.60 on a live basis, down $1.11 from last week, while dressed sales averaged $191.51, up $0.51. In the Southern Plains, live cattle sold steady at $119 on Thursday. Prices were stronger in Nebraska as live sales were roughly $1 higher at $121 and dressed cattle were $1-$2 higher at $194-$195. In the Western Cornbelt, live and dressed cattle were steady to higher, respectively at $120-$122 and $193-$195.
In Oklahoma City, feeder steers were steady to $3 lower and steer calves were steady, while all heifers were steady to $3 higher. In Mississippi auction markets calf and feeder prices improved as feeder steers were $5-$8 higher and feeder heifers were $4-$8 higher; slaughter cows and bulls were steady.
Live cattle futures were lower this week following last week’s Cattle on Feed report, while feeder futures were higher. Feeders were led by (1) lower corn prices and (2) a valid concern regarding the future availability of cattle. Live cattle prices were hampered by struggling cash fed prices and lower boxed beef prices.
Corn futures were lower again this week. Outside of Iowa, where some dryness is being seen, corn condition remains favorable and weather outlooks are positive. Doane Advisory Services’ annual crop tour saw below average yield potential in most of their Iowa stops.
To sound like a broken record (for kids reading this, songs have not always ended with the letters “mp3”) wholesale boxed beef prices moved lower again this week. Choice carcasses finished the week $2.43 lower at $187.40. Select’s slide was less severe finishing at $182.47, down $1.52.
* Unless noted otherwise, all prices quoted are dollars per hundredweight for cattle and beef and dollars per bushel for corn.