Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued at a listless pace Thursday. Although too few transactions to trend, there were some live trades in Nebraska at $123-$126/cwt. and at $198 in the beef, compared to $125 and $198, respectively, last week. Elsewhere, trade was inactive to limited.
Feeder Cattle futures started Thursday’s session strong, retreated in the face of higher Corn futures — in the wake of the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) — and then mostly firmed by the end of the session.
Feeder Cattle futures closed mixed, from an average of 14¢ lower to an average of 38¢ higher.
Surging wholesale beef prices helped lift Live Cattle futures, but sluggish cash trade limited the potential. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $7.13 higher Thursday afternoon at $317.93/cwt. Select was $2.32 higher at $290.31/cwt.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 64¢ higher.
The average dressed steer weight the week ending July 31 was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week at 891 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 2 lbs. lighter at 814 lbs.
Corn futures gained on the WASDE report, amid volatile intra-day trading. They closed 9¢ to 14¢ higher through new-crop contracts and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mixed, mostly 3¢ lower to 2¢ higher.