Negotiated cash fed cattle trade and demand were moderate in Nebraska and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon. Elsewhere, trade was mostly inactive on light demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
By the end of the week, live prices were $2 higher in the Southern Plains at $117/cwt., $2 higher in Nebraska at mostly $118 (some up to $121) and $3-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $119-$120. Dressed trade was $5 higher at $190.
Futures markets were closed Friday, in observance of Good Friday. Feeder Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, week to week on Thursday. Live Cattle futures closed $1.04 higher, buoyed by escalating wholesale beef values, stronger cash prices and continued strength in Lean Hogs.
Choice was boxed beef cutout value $2.88 higher Friday afternoon at $252.85/cwt. Select was $2.27 higher at $246.97.
Estimated total cattle slaughter the week ending April 3 was 609,000 head, which was 40,000 head fewer than the previous week, according to USDA. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 8.36 million head is 295,000 head fewer (-3.4%) than the same period last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 7.00 billion lbs. is 152.7 million lbs. less (-2.1%) than last year.