Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Trade last week was steady in the Southern Plains at $114/cwt. on a live basis, $1-$2 higher in Nebraska at $113-$114 and steady to $1 higher in the western Corn Belt at $112-$115. Dressed trade was steady to $2 higher at $180.
The five-area direct average steer price last week was about even with the prior week at $113.83/cwt. on a live basis and at $180.10 in the beef. Confirmed trade volume was 19,328 head fewer at 62,079.
Futures markets were closed Monday in observance of President’s Day. Week to week on Friday, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 79¢ higher (45¢ to $1.40 higher). Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.29 higher, from 17¢ higher at the back to $2.57 higher at the front.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 7¢ higher Monday afternoon at $232.44/cwt. Select was 48¢ higher at $221.41.
Equity markets were closed Monday in observance of President’s Day. Week to week on Friday, the DJIA closed 310 points higher, the NADASQ closed 239 points higher and the S&P 500 was up 48 points.
Crude Oil futures (WTI-CME) closed an average of $2.57 higher last week, through the front six contracts. The severe weather will likely boost energy markets this week.
Frigid, prolonged temperatures in the Southern Plains, along with ice and snow are being described as once in a generation or downright history making.
“An unprecedented and expansive area of hazardous winter weather continues into President’s Day as disruptive snow and ice accumulations transpire across the South Central U.S.,” according to the National Weather Service on Monday. “This impressive onslaught of wicked wintry weather across much of the Lower 48 is due to the combination of strong Arctic high pressure supplying sub-freezing temperatures and an active storm track escorting waves of precipitation from coast to coast.”
Sub-zero temperatures and wind chills were expected to last several more days, as the storm system tracked from the Southern Plains toward the northeast. It was preceded by last week’s Arctic blast across the Northern and Central Plains.
“Wheat pasture cattle and other stockers are no doubt experiencing reduced gains or even weight loss in these conditions. Many cattle grazing dual-purpose wheat will need to be removed and marketed in the next two to three weeks, very likely a bit lighter in weight than expected,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments.
Peel notes feeder cattle prices in the state were 3-10% lower last week as decreased demand overwhelmed the significant decline in auction volume. Some markets in the region closed last week and will this week.
“Feedlot cattle are no doubt impacted as well and the market effects will be apparent over time,” Peel says. “Reduced performance will show up as lower carcass weights in the coming weeks. The residual impacts of this historic weather event will likely effect cattle markets for several weeks.”