Feeder Cattle futures faltered Tuesday, pressured by more feedlot placements than expected in the latest Cattle on Feed report and pricier Corn futures. Feeder Cattle closed an average of 72¢ lower (30¢ to $1.35 lower).
Live Cattle futures paddled on either side of steady, helped along by surging wholesale beef prices and notions that cash trade could be higher this week. They closed from unchanged to an average of 12¢ lower to an average of 11¢ higher.
Choice wholesale beef prices continue to churn higher as buyers scramble to fill orders amid decreased packer production. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $8.09 higher Tuesday afternoon at $280.04/cwt. Select was 17¢ higher at $245.64/cwt. The Choice-Select spread was a whopping $34.40.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in all major cattle feeding regions through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Last week, live prices were $156/cwt. in the Southern Plains, $156-$157 in Nebraska and $157 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $248-$249.
The five-area direct weighted average fed steer price last week was 57¢ higher on a live basis at $156.25/cwt. The weighted average steer price in the beef was 90¢ higher at $248.70.
Corn futures surged higher Tuesday, buoyed by the weaker U.S. dollar, weather concerns in South America and perhaps some year-end positioning. They closed 5¢ to 8¢ higher through Dec ‘23 and then mostly 3¢ to 4¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 3¢ to of 6¢ higher through Aug ‘23 and then mostly fractionally lower to 2¢ lower.