Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was slow on light to moderate demand in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices in the western Corn Belt were $183-$186/cwt., which was $1-$2 higher than the previous week when dressed prices were $290.
Although too few to trend, there were a few live sales in Nebraska at $186 and a few in the beef at $291. Prices the previous week were $183.00-$186.50 and $290, respectively.
Trade in the Southern Plains remained inactive on very light demand. Prices the previous week were $178.
Live Cattle futures closed higher Friday, buoyed by stronger cash prices in the North, dragging Feeder Cattle along.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $2.02 higher ($1.15 at the back to $3.27 higher in spot Aug).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.97 higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 97¢ lower Friday afternoon at 305.94/cwt. Select was $3.57 lower at $276.61.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 633,000, which was 94,000 head more than the previous holiday-shortened week. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter was 17.5 million head, which was 662,000 head fewer (-3.6%). Estimated year-to-date beef production of 15 billion pounds was 709.6 million pounds less (-4.7%).
Turning to the grain complex, Grain and Soybean futures closed higher Friday, supported by the lower U.S. dollar and the looming deadline to extend the Black Sea Grain initiative.
Corn futures closed mostly 7¢ to 13¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 9¢ higher.
KC HRW Wheat closed mostly 22¢ to 23¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher to sideways Friday with follow-through support from recent inflation news, as well as a strong start to quarterly corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 113 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 4 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 24 points.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures (CME) closed $1.28 to $1.47 lower through the front six contracts.
Forecast cattle feeding returns continue to be extremely positive, according to the most recent Historical and Projected Kansas Feedlot Net Returns from Kansas State University.
Net returns for steers in Kansas (July-December) range from a low of $158.96 per head in December to a high of $261.37 in November. Net returns in July were projected to be $172.78. Over the same period, estimated feedlot cost of gain ranges from $139.65/cwt. in July to $110.60 in December.
Keep mind the returns reflect no price risk management.
Returns for heifers follow a similar pattern, ranging from a low of $68.66 per head in December to a high of $203.74 in October. July returns were estimated to be $156.98. During the same period, estimated feedlot cost of gain ranges from $153.59/cwt. in July to $118.45 in December.