Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were $3-$4 higher on a live basis in the Northern Plains on Friday at mostly $113/cwt., according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. That was with slow trade and light demand. Dressed sales in Nebraska were $5 higher at $178.
There were a few live sales in the Southern Plains at $113 and a few dressed trades in the western Corn Belt at $178, but too few to trend.
On Thursday, live sales in the western Corn Belt were $2-$7 higher at $112. Dressed trade the previous week was at $170-$173.
The prior week, live sales were at $110-$111 in the Texas Panhandle and at $110 in Kansas. On Friday, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reported its members trading cattle at just over $2 more week to week: $112.80 for steers and $112.91 for heifers.
Despite higher cash cattle prices and increasing wholesale beef values, Cattle futures closed lower Friday, as grain futures continued to climb. Month-end position squaring likely played a role, too.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.23 lower.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.96 lower.
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher mixed, except for 9¢ to 12¢ higher in the front three contracts.
Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 16¢ higher through Sep ‘22, and then 7¢ to 9¢ higher.
Major U.S. financial indices closed sharply lower Friday, pressured by more investor worries about the potential impact from short sellers being challenged by buyers in stocks like GameStop.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 620 points lower. The S&P 500 closed 73 points lower. The NASDAQ was down 266 points.
The nation’s beef cow herd began this year with 31.16 million head, according to the semi-annul Cattle report from USDA on Friday. That’s 181,000 head fewer or 0.58% less than the previous year.
The number of beef heifers retained for replacement of 5.81 million head was 3,200 head more than the previous year, just 0.06% more.
As of Jan. 1, the calculated number of calves outside feedlots was 25.66 million head, which were 62,000 head fewer (-0.24%) than a year earlier. That’s 3.35% less than 2 years earlier.
Milk cows Jan. 1 of 9.44 million head were 97,400 (+1.04%) more than the previous year.
The inventory of all cattle and calves was estimated at 93.59 million head, down 198,000 (-0.21%) from a year earlier.