Negotiated cash fed cattle was not reported Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday, prices were $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $110/cwt., according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. There were some early dressed sales in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $172; a few live sales in the western Corn Belt at $110. Trade in those regions the previous week was at mostly $105 on a live basis and mostly $165 in the beef.
Choice Boxed beef cutout value was $3.13 lower on Wednesday at $207.54/cwt. Select was $1.66 lower at $197.93.
The average dressed steer weight the week ending Dec. 12 was 922 lbs., which was the same as the prior week but 18 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 848 lbs. was 2 lbs. lighter week to week but 7 lbs. heavier year over year.
Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed but mostly slightly higher in Thursday’s short session, amid extremely light holiday trade. Heading into the new week, support from stronger cash prices and the outlook for higher wholesale beef values will likely compete with year-end position squaring.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 21¢ higher except for 7¢ lower in the back contract.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ higher except for unchanged to 40¢ lower in three contracts.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ higher through Aug ’21, and then fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Thursday amid light holiday trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 70 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 13 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 33 points.
Total cattle slaughter under federal inspection (FI) in November of 2.66 million head was 80,100 fewer (-2.93%) than the same time last year, according to USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report. For January through November total FI cattle slaughter of 29.42 million head was 939,000 head fewer (-3.09%) than the same period last year.
FI fed steer and heifer slaughter in November of 2.09 million head was 49,400 (-2.31%) less year over year. For January through November, total FI fed cattle slaughter was 23.17 million head, which was 823,200 head fewer (-3.43%) than the same time last year.
Commercial beef production in November of 2.26 billion lbs. was 34 million lbs. less (-1.48%) than a year earlier. For January through November, commercial beef production of 24.82 billion lbs. was 62.4 million lbs. less (-0.25%) than the same period last year.
However, total commercial red meat production through the first 11 months of the year was 50.80 billion lbs., which was 513.2 million lbs. more (+1.02%) year over year. Pork production drove the increase.