Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive with very light demand to a standstill through Monday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Live prices last week were steady to $2 higher in the Texas Panhandle at $124-$126/cwt., $2 higher in Kansas at $126, $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $127 and $2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $126-$127. Dressed trade was $4 higher at $200.
The five-area average direct fed steer price last week was $1.90 higher than the previous week at $126.29/cwt. on a live basis. The average steer price in the beef was $4.06 higher at $199.89.
Choice boxed beef cutout values were $1.86 higher Monday afternoon at $287.58/cwt. Select was $1.02 higher at $264.39.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $2.22 lower, battered by rising Corn and Wheat futures.
Corn futures were 10¢ higher through the front four contracts and then mostly 5¢ to 7¢ higher.
K.C. Wheat futures were mostly 18¢ to 21¢ higher.
Weakness in Feeder Cattle helped pressure Live Cattle futures an average of 38¢ lower.
Major U.S. financial indices edged higher Monday, buoyed by energy prices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 94 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 8 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 97 points.
Winter wheat pasture prospects improved with October rains, according to Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments.
“While wheat for grain-only is still being planted or is newly planted, wheat for forage or dual purpose has progressed significantly with recent rains,” Peel says. “Driving across Oklahoma recently I observed wheat in stages from planting to barely emerged to several inches tall. Most wheat pasture will not be ready for grazing until December, later than usual, but I have heard reports that some wheat grazing may begin by mid-November.”
Overall, however, Peel says ongoing drought conditions are slightly worse year over year.
“Although there have been some regional changes in drought situation, the overall picture has not changed much. The country started this growing season with the worst average pasture and range conditions on record and is ending the year in the same condition,” Peel explains. “The reemerging La Niña increases the chances for moisture in the northern half of the country and Canada but simultaneously increases the odds of drier conditions redeveloping in the Southwest. In any event, not much will change regarding forage supplies in the next 6-7 months.”
On the upside, cattle prices should continue to improve, according to Peel, as cattle numbers shrink cyclically.