Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from mostly inactive on light demand to a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were $2 lower in Kansas at $138/cwt. and $4 lower in the Texas Panhandle at $136. Dressed prices were $2 lower in Nebraska at $218.
Estimated total cattle slaughter last week was 657,000 head, which was 11,000 head fewer than the prior week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 32.17 million head was 886,000 head more (+2.8%) than the same period last year. Estimated year-to-date before production of 26.64 billion lbs. is 628 million lbs. more (+2.4%) than last year.
Cattle futures limped lower Friday, pressured by softer cash prices and pre-holiday positioning. Increasing carcass weights amid declining wholesale beef prices added weight.
The average dressed steer weight the week ending Dec. 4 was 928 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 2 lbs. heavier than the previous week, 6 lbs. heavier than two weeks earlier and the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight was 4 lbs. heavier than the previous week at 851 lbs. and 1 lb. heavier than the same week last year.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.78 lower (95¢ lower at the back to $2.62 lower toward the front).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 61¢ lower.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 4¢ higher Friday afternoon at $263.01/cwt. Select was 14¢ higher at $248.28.
Corn futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher in the front three contracts and then mostly fractionally lower.
Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 10¢ higher in the front five contracts and then mostly unchanged to fractionally lower.