Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained undeveloped through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). There were a few dressed trades reported in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt at $155/cwt., but too few to trend. The price there last week was at $168. Given the surge in wholesale beef prices this week, some are betting on at least steady money.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $5.34 higher Thursday afternoon at $235.87/cwt. Select was $3.76 higher at $225.98. That’s $10.01 more for Choice since Monday and $14.58 more for Select.
The average steer dressed weight for the week ending Apr. 4 was 889 lbs., which was 2 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 24 lbs. heavier than the prior year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 825 lbs., the same as the prior week but 21 lbs. heavier than the same week last year.
Cattle futures closed higher Thursday, building on stability from the previous session. Trade and open interest continued to creep higher.
Weekly beef export Sales (Apr. 3-9) reported by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service were also supportive. Net sales of 20,200 metric tons (mt) reported for 2020 were up 28% from the previous week and 16% from the prior four-week average. Increases came primarily from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 92¢ higher (70¢ higher to $1.65 higher).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.97 higher ($1.42 higher at the back to $2.90 higher toward the front).
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 5¢ to 6¢ lower through Mar ’21 and then 3¢ to 4¢ lower.