Negotiated cash fed cattle trade remained largely undeveloped through Wednesday afternoon, based on USDA reports, but had a firm to higher feel.
For one thing, there were some early live trades in the Texas Panhandle at $120/cwt., which was $1 higher than last week.
Earlier in the day, there were three Southern Plains lots (422 head) offered in the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange auction, and no takers. One lot was passed out at $119.75/cwt.
Up North, Choice steers and heifers sold $1.75-$2.25 higher at the fat auction in Tama, IA Wednesday. There were 91 Choice 2-4 steers weighing an average of 1,434 lbs. and bringing an average of $123.15/cwt. Country trade in the western Corn Belt was $119 last week.
Similarly, slaughter steers also sold $2-$3 higher at Sioux Falls Regional in South Dakota, where 184 Choice 2-3 steers weighing an average of 1,447 lbs. brought an average of $120.74.
Feeder Cattle futures gained more ground Wednesday on strong fundamentals, and perhaps positioning ahead of the monthly Cattle on Feed report due out Friday. That helped underpin Live Cattle.
Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed and mostly higher, from unchanged to an average of 11¢ lower in three contracts to an average of 20¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ higher (47¢ to $1.47 higher in spot Mar). That makes for an average of $5.87 higher over the last five sessions.
Wholesale beef values were weak on Choice and lower on Select with light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 56¢ lower Wednesday afternoon at $205.57/cwt. Select was $1.97 lower at $201.76.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Except for 5¢ and 3¢ higher in the front two contracts, Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.