Negotiated cash fed cattle trade broke out in the north yesterday. Live sales were as much as $4 higher in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $130/cwt. Dressed trade was $2-$3 higher at $207-$208.
Lighter carcass weights continue to provide support. The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Apr. 6 was 865 lbs., which was 7 lbs. less than a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 5 lbs. less at 804 lbs.
Except bouncing higher in the front month, Live Cattle futures closed mixed Thursday, while Feeder Cattle edged higher as traders positioned ahead of the holiday weekend and ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report (see below). More on that report momentarily.
Other than $1.60 higher in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 15¢ lower to 30¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 49¢ higher (22¢ to 95¢ higher).
Corn futures closed mostly fractionally mixed.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and weak on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 30¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $233.06/cwt. Select was 70¢ lower at $219.46. At $13.60, the Choice-Select spread was the widest since December.