Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, but a variety of indicators suggested at least steady prices this week.
At Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, Ch 2-4 steers brought $125.50 to $129.75/cwt. on Wednesday. The deepest test of Ch 2-4 steers at Tama, IA brought an average price of $130.81.
Through Tuesday, the 5-area direct live steer price was $128.50 on a smattering of trades, about even with the previous week.
There were only 300 head offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, and no takers.
Live Cattle futures puttered in place Wednesday, drifting a touch lower, while Feeder Cattle continued to soften amid light trade.
Other than 7¢ higher in spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 26¢ lower.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 79¢ lower (22¢ to $1.02 lower).That’s an average of about $1.50 lower in the last two sessions.
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then mostly fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 11¢ lower through Aug ’20 and then 7¢ to 9¢ lower.
Wholesale beef values were firm to higher on good to moderate demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 89¢ higher Wednesday afternoon at $224.93/cwt. Select was 58¢ higher at $218.37.
Major U.S. financial indices closed lower Wednesday, without much fundamental direction, but apparent rally fatigue as investors wait for a resolution to U.S.-China trade talks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 133 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 18 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 70 points.
Despite lighter year-to-year carcass weights, beef production continued to climb in January, according to the most recent USDA Livestock Slaughter report.
Total beef production in January of 2.31 billion lbs. was 30.8 million lbs. more than the previous year (+1.35%).
Fed steer and heifer slaughter under federal inspection of 2.19 million head was 61,200 head more (+2.87%) than the previous year.
Total cattle slaughter of 2.79 million head was 72,100 head (+2.66%) than a year earlier.
Average steer dressed weight in January was 886 lbs., which was 7 lbs. lighter than a year earlier. Average dressed heifer weight was 12 lbs. lighter at 824 lbs.
Total red meat production in January of 4.70 billion lbs. was 114.1 million lbs. more (+2.49%) than the same month a year earlier.