Cash fed cattle were mostly steady this week. Live cattle were reported up $1 at $124 in the Southern Plains. Not enough trade has been reported to call a trend in Nebraska or Iowa. The five area live steer price was $122.70, down $0.30.
In Oklahoma City on Monday, feeder steers sold $3-5 higher; feeder heifers were steady to $1 higher; and calves were mostly steady. Mississippi feeder steers were called $3-$10 lower for the week and feeder heifers were $2-$5 lower. Cows were $1-$5 lower and bulls were $1-$3 lower.
Live and feeder cattle futures finished the week higher (excluding the front month feeder cattle contract). Most live and feeder contracts started the week higher before slipping to close the day Monday and again on Tuesday, then rallied to close the week. The Federal Reserve Board announced Wednesday they would continue to attempt to ease the economic woes in the U.S. Most had expected a pull back by the Fed, and so markets rallied, including cattle futures. Also during the week there was positioning ahead of the Cattle on Feed report, which showed significantly fewer cattle on inventory than expected (more detail here). Expect markets to open higher due to the on feed report (barring outside market issues).
Corn futures were lower again this week. The big crop that just will not shrink continues to pressure the market. Crop conditions remain favorable and exports are weak, neither of which are helping prices.
Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower again this week. Choice finished with a weekly average of $192.94, down $0.77, while Select dipped lower to $176.31, off $1.89.
Note: Unless otherwise stated prices for cattle and beef are dollars per hundredweight and corn is quoted in dollars per bushel.