Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was inactive on very light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live sales for the week were mostly steady to $1 on either side of steady at $110-$111/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $109-$110 in the Northern Plains and $108-$110 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed trade was steady to $3 lower at $170-$173.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct average steer price was $109.23/cwt. on a live basis, which was 29¢ less than the previous week and $15.05 less than the same time last year. The average steer price in the beef was $172.59, which was 47¢ less than the previous week and $26.27 less year over year.
Sharply lower grain futures Friday helped fuel strong gains in Cattle futures. Higher wholesale beef prices added support, as did loftier Lean Hog futures, tied in part to reports of new African Swine Fever cases in China.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.02 higher through the front four contracts, and then an average of 55¢ higher, except for 35¢ lower in the back contract.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.81 higher, from $1.95 to $5.00 higher.
Choice boxed beef value was $1.62 higher Friday afternoon at $222.82/cwt. Select was $3.06 higher at $213.34.
Estimated total cattle slaughter for the week of 657,000 head was 6,000 more than the previous week and 13,000 head more than the same week last year. Estimated beef production for the week of 550.2 million lbs. was 5.4 million lbs. more than the previous week and 19.3 million lbs. more than the previous year.
Grain futures tumbled hard Friday, pressured by factors including profit taking and rains in South America.
Corn futures closed 17¢ to 23¢ lower through Jly ‘22 and then mostly 6¢ to 7¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 44¢ to 58¢ lower through Aug ‘22 and then 31¢ to 38¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mixed Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 179 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 11 points lower. The NASDAQ was up 12 points.
Markets could view Friday’s Cattle on Feed report (feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity) as a bit bearish with December placements 0.77% more than the previous year, while estimates ahead of the report expected a decrease of about 3%. The 1.84 million head placements were the second most for the month since the data series began in 1996, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Marketings in December of 1.85 million head were 1% more than the prior year, slightly more than expectations ahead of the report.
The on-feed inventory Jan. 1 of 11.96 million head was slightly more than the previous year, whereas average of expectations was for a decline of about 0.5%.