USDA shocked the market Friday with its latest Acreage report (see below), which sent Corn futures diving hard. That fueled gains in Feeder Cattle futures, which closed an average of 50¢ higher (12¢ higher to $1.05 higher in spot Aug). Prices at the close were well off of session highs with likely week-end and month-end position squaring.
Live Cattle futures closed mixed, from 71¢ lower across the front half of the board—not counting expiring June—to an average of 13¢ higher across the back half, not counting newly minted Dec ’20.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade began to develop by late Friday afternoon, but there were too few transactions to trend in any region.
Early live sales in the Southern Plains were at $109/cwt. on a live basis, in the middle of the previous week’s trading range. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association also reported its members trading at $109. Early live sales in Nebraska were steady to higher at $109.00-$111.50. In the western Corn Belt, though, the $109-$112 for early live sales was $1-$3 less than the previous week. Earlier week dressed sales in the latter two regions were at $180, which was steady in Nebraska and steady to lower in the western Corn Belt.
Through Thursday, the 5-area direct weighted average price for steers was $110.58/cwt.
Wholesale beef values were firm on Choice and lower on Select with moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 63¢ higher Friday afternoon at $219.03/cwt. Select was $1.34 lower at $195.56. At $24.10, the Choice-Select spread Friday afternoon was the highest since May of last year.