Negotiated cash fed cattle prices ended the week generally steady.
The weighted average five-area direct fed steer price through Thursday was $96.32/cwt. on a live basis, which was 35¢ higher than the previous week, but $16.70 less than the same week last year. The average steer price in the beef was $157.58, which was 9¢ less than the previous week and $25.39 less than a year earlier.
Cattle futures meandered higher by Friday’s close, supported by the week’s optimism built by cash feeder prices and thoughts that the low may be in the books for fed cattle prices.
Except for unchanged in spot Aug, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 36¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 38¢ higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 33¢ lower Friday afternoon at $200.47/cwt. Select was 99¢ lower at $190.31.
The average dressed steer weight for the week ending July 4 was 896 lbs., according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was even with the previous week and 35 lbs. heavier than the previous year. The average dressed heifer weight was 826 lbs., on par with the previous week but 34 lbs. heavier than the same week last year.
Estimated total cattle slaughter for the week ending July 18 was 650,000 head, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. That would be 7,000 head fewer (-1.07%) than the previous week’s estimate and 5,000 head fewer (-0.76%) than the same week last year. Year to date estimated total cattle slaughter of 17.15 million head is 1.01 million head fewer (-5.56%) than last year.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 4¢ higher through Jly ’21 and then fractionally higher to 3¢ higher.