Negotiated cash fed cattle trade on Thursday continued $1 higher than last week in the Southern Plains at $120/cwt. Live prices were steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $119-$120 and steady in the beef at $190.
Near term, increased slaughter numbers and heavier carcass weights year over year, magnified by the mostly open winter so far are keeping a firmer seasonal lid on wholesale beef prices. The average steer carcass weight the week ending Feb. 8 was 903 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 6 lbs. more than the previous week and 18 lbs. more than the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 834 lbs. was 1 lbs. more than the previous week and 12 lbs. more than the same week last year.
Weaker outside markets amid the daily up and down tied to novel coronavirus also helped pressure Cattle futures Thursday.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of $1.03 lower (70¢ to $1.65 lower), but still higher week to week.
Except for 2¢ higher in spot Mar, Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ lower.
Analysts surveyed by Urner Barry and reported by the Daily Livestock Report expect to see January feedlot placements 1.9% more than the previous year, in Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report. They anticipate January marketings to be 1% more and the Feb. 1 on-feed inventory to be 2.4% more.
Wholesale beef values were lower on Choice and steady on Select with light to moderate demand and heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.07 lower Thursday afternoon at $204.50/cwt. Select was 16¢ lower at $201.60.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ lower.