COVID-19 infections at packing plants, as well as precautionary measures, continue to hamper production speed and volume, while cleaving a wider divide between fed cattle prices and wholesale beef values.
Early negotiated cash fed cattle trade stumbled from the blocks Tuesday with dressed prices up north $5-$18 lower at $150/cwt. Live sales in Nebraska were mainly sharply lower at mostly $95. Early live sales in the Texas Panhandle were $5 lower at $100.
Wholesale beef values continued to scream higher, though, as buyers scramble to procure the declining supplies.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $11.47 higher Tuesday afternoon at $259.85/cwt. Select was $10.83 higher at $248.82. Week to week, that’s $33.18 higher for Choice and $33.05 higher for Select. For perspective, the highest price for Choice following the Tyson plant fire last summer was $241.74.
Cattle futures, especially Live Cattle sagged lower, helped along by another down day in equity markets.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.23 lower (82¢ to $1.92 lower).
Except for 37¢ higher in the back contract, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 50¢ lower.
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 6¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed mostly 4¢ to 7¢ higher.