Cash fed cattle were mostly steady this week. Live cattle were reported at $123 in the Southern Plains. In Nebraska, dressed sales were at $194-$195. Live and dressed sales were $122-$122.50 and $193-$195, respectively, in the Western Cornbelt. The five area live and dressed steer prices were, respectively, $123.01 and $194.28, up $0.59 and $0.06.
In Oklahoma City on Monday, feeders sold steady to $1 higher and calves were mostly steady. Mississippi feeder steers were called $5-$10 lower for the week and feeder heifers were $5 lower. Cows and bulls were $1-$2 lower.
Live and feeder cattle futures finished the week higher (excluding the front month, October, live cattle contract). The nearby live cattle futures price was under pressure from declining boxed beef prices. Corn’s dip on Thursday helped benefit cattle prices, especially feeder futures which experienced a surge to close the week. USDA released their agricultural supply and demand estimates report mid-day Thursday. The report showed an expected increase in 2013 and 2014 beef supplies (up 55 and 20 million pounds, respectively). On the bright side, 2013 beef exports were bumped up 45 million pounds.
Corn futures were atempting a mild rally early in the week ahead of the supply and demand report but finished the week lower. The monthly crop report from USDA-NASS put the U.S. yield at 155.3 bushels per acre, up 0.9 bushels from the August projections and 1.4 above the pre-report expectation. This was, of course bearish news and pushed prices lower. Prior to the report’s release, traders were positioning themselves for decreased corn production (via lower yields) compared to last month’s estimate and, thus, lower carry-over. (A recap of the report was published earlier and can be found here.)
Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower this week. Choice finished with a weekly average of $193.71, down $2.23, while Select dipped even lower and ended with an average of $178.20, down $3.59.
Note: Unless otherwise stated prices for cattle and beef are dollars per hundredweight and corn is quoted in dollars per bushel.