Negotiated cash fed cattle trade last week ended up steady in the Southern Plains at $114/cwt., according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Live trades were steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $114; dressed trade steady to $1 higher at $180-$181. In the western Corn Belt, prices were steady to $2 higher on a live basis at $114-$115 and steady to $2 higher in the beef at $180-$182.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct average steer price was $114.11/cwt. on a live basis, which was 33¢ more than the previous week but $5.66 lower than the same week last year. The average five-area dressed steer price was 64¢ higher week to week at $180.71, which was $9.39 less year over year.
Cattle futures closed higher Friday with steady cash prices, lower Corn futures, the week’s strong wholesale beef values and expectations for packers to pick up production following storm disruptions.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 71¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 90¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 38¢ higher Friday afternoon at $239.23/cwt. Select was 43¢ higher at $227.90.
Estimated cattle slaughter for the week of 552,000 head was 56,000 head fewer than the previous week and 74,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Estimated year-to-date cattle slaughter of 4.50 million head is 263,000 head fewer (-5.52%) than last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 3.81 billion lbs. is 124.8 million lbs. less (-3.17%) than the same time last year.
Corn futures closed 6¢ to 7¢ lower through the front three contracts, mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ higher through Jly ’23 and then mostly 3¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3¢ to 9¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Friday. Likely profit taking and inflation jitters counterbalanced positive economic news.
Existing-home sales of 6.69 million rose 0.6% in January, marking two consecutive months of growth, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Sales were 23.7% more year over year.
“Home sales continue to ascend in the first month of the year, as buyers quickly snatched up virtually every new listing coming on the market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales easily could have been even 20% higher if there had been more inventory and more choices.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed fractionally higher. The S&P 500 closed 7 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 9 points.
Feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity placed 2.017 million head in January, according to Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report. That was about 3% more year over year and about 3% more than pre-report expectations. The report accounts for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity.
In terms of weight, 42.14% went on feed weighing 699 lbs. or less; 49.18% weighed 700-899 lbs.; 8.68% weighed 900 lbs. or more.
“With higher placements in January, rising feed costs are likely to become more of a focus and concern,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center, in the latest Livestock Monitor. “The weekly Omaha corn price for January averaged $5.04/bu., which is a 15.2% ($0.67 per bushel) rise over December 2020 and 32.0% ($1.23 per bushel) higher than last year. High feed costs may incentivize cow-calf operators to add more weight to calves before placing into feedlots. This may be a challenge as much of the western U.S. remains in drought, potentially limiting available pasture and feed supplies. The harsh winter weather in mid-February likely depleted hay stocks in some areas.”
Marketings in January of 1.822 million head were 5.6% less year over year and slightly fewer than expected.
Total cattle on feed Feb. 1 of 12.106 million head were 1.5% more than a year earlier and about 0.5% more than expectations. That’s the second most for the month since the data series began in 1996.