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. There were too few transactions to trend.
Live prices last week were steady in the Southern Plains on a live basis at $124/cwt. and steady to $2 higher at $124 in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were at $196, which was steady in Nebraska but steady to $3 higher in the western Corn Belt.
The five-area direct average steer price last week was 88¢ higher at $123.84/cwt. The average steer price in the beef was 33¢ higher at $195.70.
Cattle futures started the week softer amid technical considerations and traders apparently seeking more price direction. Another day of stronger Corn futures added pressure to Feeder Cattle. Some might also be considering positions ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report due out Friday.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.52 lower, (50¢ lower at the back to $2.07 lower toward the front).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 43¢ lower, except for an average of 8¢ higher in the back two contracts.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 15¢ lower Monday afternoon at $280.09/cwt. Select was 81¢ lower at $259.81/cwt.
Corn futures got a follow-through boost from export sales, which were 85% more than the prior four-week average, according to the latest U.S. Export Sales report for the week ending Oct. 7. They closed mostly 4¢ to 5¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed mainly higher Monday, buoyed by strong quarterly corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 36 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 15 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 124 points.
USDA’s Economic Research Service lowered the projected average fourth-quarter feeder steer price (basis 750-800 lbs., Oklahoma City) by $4 compared to the previous month to $151.00/cwt., based on more quarterly feedlot placements than expected. That took about $1.00 from the average annual price projection — compared to the previous month — to $144.80.
However, in the latest monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, ERS increased the projected annual average feeder steer price for next year by 50¢ to $155.50, based on expectations of tighter feeder cattle supplies in the second half of the year. Prices are forecast to average $153.00 in the first quarter, $151 in the second and $156.00 in the third quarter.
As mentioned in Cattle Current previously, ERS lowered the forecast fourth-quarter five-area direct average steer price by $4 to $127, based on seasonal trends and large supplies of fed cattle. However, the projected fed cattle price increased for the second half of 2022 on anticipated firm demand and tighter fed cattle supplies.
ERS projected the annual average fed steer price at $128.75, compared to this year’s expected average of $121.06. Average prices are forecast at $130.00 in the first quarter, $128 in the second and $126.00 in the third quarter.