Cash fed cattle trade wobbled from the blocks Wednesday, with hints of slightly lower prices in the South and steady to higher prices in the North.
For instance, there were four lots (475 head) offered for 1-9 day delivery in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction. One lot (133 Kansas heifers) sold for a weighted average price of $111/cwt. Country trade there last week was at $112.
By late afternoon, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service also reported early negotiated cash fed cattle sales at $111 in the Southern Plains, but too few transactions to trend.
Conversely, at the fat auction in Tama, IA, Choice steers and heifers traded $1.50-$1.75 higher. For instance, 209 Ch 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,324 lbs. at $119.03.
Likewise, slaughter steers sold $2-$3 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota; $1 higher for heifers.
AMS reported cash trades in the western Corn Belt at $185 on a dressed basis, which was steady to $3 higher than last week. Buyers paid $185 in Nebraska, which was $2 more than the bulk of the previous week’s trade.
Another day of limit-down pressure in Lean Hog futures cast a pall over Cattle futures Wednesday, likely helped along by month-end position squaring. At least part of the pressure on Lean Hogs stems from the lack of progress in trade talks with China.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.02 lower (65¢ lower to $1.42 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.25 lower.
Wholesale beef values were weak to lower on moderate demand and offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 49¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $213.54/cwt. Select was $1.44 lower at $189.69.
Favorable weather and the aforementioned sluggish trade talk between the U.S. and China helped pressure Grain futures Wednesday.
Corn futures closed 9¢ to 11¢ lower through Jul ’20 and then mostly 3¢ to 4¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 10¢ to 15¢ lower through Sep ’20 and then mostly 8¢ to 9¢ lower.