Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on very light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices last week ranged from steady to $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $118-$120/cwt. to $1-$5 lower in the Northern Plains at $121; steady to $4 lower in the western Corn Belt at $120-$122. Dressed trade was $2-$4 lower at $192.
Cattle futures closed higher Friday, supported by oversold conditions and a reprieve from another day of higher corn prices.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 67¢ higher (12¢ to 92¢ higher), except for 47¢ and 12¢ lower in the front two contracts.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.42 higher (65¢ to $1.67 higher).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.46 higher at $283.77/cwt. Select was $1.56 lower at $272.13
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ lower, except for 5¢ and 1¢ higher in the front two contracts.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 6¢ higher through Nov ‘22, and then fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Friday, amid mainly positive economic news, and as investors took a more measured view of reports that President Biden will seek an increase in capital gains taxes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 227 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 45 points higher.
The NASDAQ up 198 points.
Logic suggests markets will view the monthly Cattle on Feed report as neutral to hopefully friendly, with placements significantly less than the average of analysts expectations.
Feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity placed 2.0 million head in March, which was 440,00 head more (+28.26%) than the previous year’s paltry placements, due to the pandemic. Placements were 5.5% less than expectations.
In terms of placement weights: 36.5% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 51.6% weighed 700-899 lbs.; 11.75% weighed 900 lbs. or more.
Marketings in March of 2.04 million head were 1.49% more year over year, which was in line with expectations. The total was the second most for the month since the data series began in 1996, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
There were 11.9 million head on feed Apr. 1, which was 600,000 head more (+5.31%) than last year; the second most for the month since the data series began. That was 0.8% less than analysts expected. The number of heifers and heifer calves on feed were 7% more than the previous year.