Negotiated cash fed cattle trade so far this week is steady to mixed with live sales in the Texas Panhandle at $95-$100/cwt. and at $90-$100 in Kansas, where there were too few transactions to trend. Up north, live prices are steady in Nebraska at $95 and up to $5 higher in the western Corn Belt at mostly $100. Dressed sales are steady to $10 lower in Nebraska at $150; steady in the western Corn Belt at $150-$160.
Cattle feeders offered 4,484 head in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, selling 818 head. Of those, 174 head sold for a weighted average price of $100/cwt. for delivery at 1-9 days. Another 644 head for delivery at 1-17 days sold for a weighted average price of $96.57.
President Trump signed an executive order late Tuesday, using the Defense Production Act, to mandate that meat packing and processing facilities remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To ensure worker safety, these processors will continue to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,” according to a White House Fact Sheet (see below).
Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed Wednesday, as traders weigh short-term pressure, due to current disruptions in packing and processing, against a hopeful surge in demand as the economy reopens.
Live Cattle futures closed 42¢ lower to 25¢ higher, with sluggish trade.
Except for an average of 31¢ lower in three contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 24¢ higher, in extremely light trade.
Wholesale beef values continued to climb Wednesday.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $26.56 higher Wednesday afternoon at a $357.38/cwt. Select was $19.03 higher at $339.91.
Corn futures closed mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher.