Cattle futures sagged lower Thursday, pressured by softer cash prices. Also, net 2020 beef export sales for the week ending Aug. 20 were 11,800 metric tons, down 40% from the previous week and 36% from the prior four-week average, according to the weekly U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 54¢ lower, from 10¢ lower in the back contract to $1.17 lower.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 55¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 9¢ higher Thursday afternoon at $231.54/cwt. Select was 15¢ higher at $214.26.
Total cattle slaughter the week ending Aug. 15 was 643,681, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 10,713 head more than the previous week, but 9,601 fewer (-1.47%) than the same week a year earlier.
Fed cattle slaughter for the week of 519,567 head was 7,312 head more than the previous week, and just 1,140 head fewer than the previous year.
The average dressed steer weight was 909 lbs., which was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 28 lbs. heaver than the same week last year. The average dressed heifer weight of 833 lbs. was 1 lb. heavier than the prior week and 24 lbs. heavier than the previous year.
Heavier carcass weights continue to increase year-over-year beef production with less slaughter. Total beef production of 536.7 million lbs. was 10.5 million lbs. more than the previous week and 6.4 million lbs. more than the previous year.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 17¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher.