Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from limited to mostly inactive on light demand through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, live prices were steady in the Texas Panhandle at $120/cwt., steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $123-$124, unevenly steady in Colorado at $122 and $1 lower in the western Corn Belt at $122-$124. Dressed prices were $1 higher in Nebraska at $196; steady to $1 lower at $194-$196 in the western Corn Belt.
Cattle futures closed lower again Friday, although the pace of decline was less than in recent sessions. Besides feed costs and sluggish cash price progress, there’s also concern about the recently slower slaughter pace and the potential to back up some cattle.
Estimated total cattle slaughter the week ending April 16 was 640,000 head, according to USDA. That was 1,000 head fewer than the previous week. Estimated year-to-date total cattle slaughter of 9.64 million head, is 35,000 head fewer (-0.36%). Estimated year-to-date beef production of 8.06 billion lbs. is 74.9 million lbs. more (+0.94%) than the same time last year.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ lower, except for 10¢ higher in the back contract.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 73¢ lower (30¢ to $1.00 lower).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 57¢ lower on Friday at $276.05/cwt. Select was 67¢ higher at $269.10.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 4¢ lower through the front three contracts, and then mostly fractionally higher to 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 8¢ to 15¢ higher through the front four contracts, and then mostly 3¢ to 6¢ higher.