Although too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle sales started the week on a mostly lower note, with live trades at $100/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $98-$100 in Kansas and at $100-$105 in Nebraska. Early dressed trades in Nebraska were at $159-$167; mostly $167 in the western Corn Belt, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
The weighted five-area direct average price for steers last week, on a live basis, was $104.47/cwt., which was $7.92 less than the previous week. The average dressed steer price was $12.64 less at $166.40. Prices for the same week last year were $113.62 and $184.48, respectively.
Cattle futures followed equity markets on Monday, down early before recovering into the close.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ higher, except for unchanged in spot Jun.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 56¢ higher (7¢ higher in spot Aug to 77¢ higher at the back).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.03 lower Monday afternoon at $228.61/cwt. Select was $4.92 lower at $214.35.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 1¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices closed higher Monday, amid a volatile day of trade. Pressure early, tied to resurgent COVID-19 cases in some states, drove indexes sharply lower. The Fed’s announcement that it would buy individual corporate bonds, expanding its support of credit markets, pulled indexes higher, led by tech stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 157 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 25 points higher. The NASDAQ closed 137 points higher.
“Feeder cattle prices are expected to hold firm through the summer, while feed costs are expected to decline with larger feedstuffs production,” say analysts with the Livestock Market Information Center (LMIC), in the latest Livestock Monitor. “Drought continues to be an aspect to watch. But, with the improvement of fed cattle prices later this year and lower corn costs, cattle feeding margins could become supportive of feeder cattle prices.”
LMIC analysts point out calf and feeder cattle auction volumes were the least for March since 2002 and the least for April since 2012, mirroring significant year-over-year declines in feedlot placements. Through May, however, they say calf and feeder cattle volume marketed via auction, direct and Internet/video was 9.5% more than the same time last year.