Cattle Current Daily—Jan. 29, 2024

Cattle Current Daily—Jan. 29, 2024

Cattle futures continued higher Friday, buoyed by lighter carcass weights due to the weather, higher cash fed cattle prices and strong wholesale beef values.

Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.62 higher. Week to week, they were up an average of $7.64.

Live Cattle futures closed an average of 94¢ higher. They were an average of $3.70 higher week to week.

Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow on light demand to a standstill through Friday afternoon, with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.

For the week, FOB live prices were $1.50 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $175/cwt., $1-$2 higher in Kansas at $174-$175 (mostly $175), $2-$4 higher in Nebraska at $175-$177 and from $1 lower to $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $174-$177. Dressed delivered prices were $3-$4 higher at $277.

Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.85 higher Friday afternoon at $300.53/cwt. Select was $1.28 higher at $289.13/cwt. Week to week, Choice was $5.03 higher and Select was $6.08 higher.

Grain and soybean futures continued to chop in search of a low Friday.

Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 14¢ lower.

Corn futures closed 4¢ to 5¢ lower through Jly ’25.

KC HRW Wheat futures closed mostly 6¢ to 9¢ lower.

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Major U.S. financial indices closed narrowly mixed Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 60 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 3 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 55 points.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed 64¢ to 67¢ higher through the front six contracts.

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Estimated total cattle slaughter last week of 618,000 head was 1,000 head more than the previous week but 35,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Year-to-date estimated cattle slaughter of 2.3 million head was 204,000 head fewer (-8.1%) than the same period a year ago. Year-to-date estimated beef production of 1.96 billion pounds was 120.4 million pounds less (-5.8%).

As long as current consumer beef demand holds, beef prices should continue higher, according to Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments.

“It is not necessary for beef demand to increase to push prices higher. As long as demand stays steady then one would expect beef prices to increase as beef production declines with the number of cattle moving through the system,” Griffith says. “Consumers are currently focused on end meats, but it will not be long before retailers shift their focus toward middle meats.”

Griffith also notes, “It seems there has been a shift in consumer preferences with the wide Choice Select spread, and the spread will widen further.”

2024-01-28T12:56:50-06:00

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