Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light demand in the Southern Plains through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Elsewhere, trade was slow with moderate demand.
For the week, live prices are generally steady to $2 lower in the Southern Plains at $119-$120/cwt. and steady to either side of steady at $123-$125 in the north. Dressed trade is steady in the western Corn Belt at $196-$202 but steady to $4 higher in Nebraska at $198-$202.
Cattle futures closed lower Thursday, pressured by declining wholesale beef prices and softer cash prices.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.28 lower.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.24 lower.
Choice was boxed beef cutout value was $2.93 lower Thursday afternoon at $281.97/cwt. Select was $2.02 lower at $260.06
Favorable weather continued to pressure Corn and Soybean futures Thursday.
Corn futures closed down between 6¢ and 14¢ lower through the front six contracts.
Soybean futures closed between 1¢ and 7¢ lower through the front six contracts, except for spot July, up 3¢.
Major U.S. financial indices fell on Thursday on fears prompted by the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Reports suggest traders have gone from worrying that economic growth would fuel inflation to fears the virus will cause further damage economically.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 260 points lower. The S&P 500 37 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 105 points.
“Domestic beef demand looks to continue strong in the second half of the year and beef exports are expected to increase as well,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Strong beef demand and year-over-year decreases in beef production in the third and fourth quarters is expected to continue supporting wholesale beef values for the remainder of the year.”
The seasonal increase in boxed beef cutout prices was stronger than usual this year, according to Peel. He explains weekly average Choice boxed beef prices increased 63.8% from early January to early June.
“Among the four major beef primals, values were higher across the board, led by the loin (up 93.0%), rib (up 60.0%), round (up 43.8%) and chuck (up 39.0%),” Peel says. “The smaller primals were also up strongly with increases for brisket (up 99.3%), short plate (up 107.5%) and flank (up 85.7%).”
According to Peel, wholesale price strength stemmed from a number of factors, including increased seasonal beef demand, strong export demand and food service inventory rebuilding, all underpinned by generally strong domestic protein demand.
Boxed beef prices declined since the early June peak but remain up since the beginning of the year.