Negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued lower on Thursday, with live trade in the Texas Panhandle $4 lower at $104/cwt. and $1-$5 lower in Kansas at $103-$107, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
“With the slaughter pace inching closer to normal and beef cutout values dropping, the focus may soon be turning to the surplus of market ready cattle that history says will have to be whittled away at by getting to a price low enough to stimulate surplus demand,” noted the AMS reporter on hand for the weekly sale at South Central Regional Stockyards in Vienna, MO.
Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed to narrowly lower, fading more intense pressure early in the session. Declining cash prices and sharply lower outside markets added drag, while export sales provided some lift. Net beef export sales were up 66% (week ending June 4) from the previous week and up noticeably from the prior four-week average, according to the weekly Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Increases were primarily for South Korea, Japan, Mexico and Canada.
Live Cattle futures closed narrowly mixed, from 35¢ lower to 22¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 54¢ lower.
The average five-area direct live steer price (FOB) in May was $111.53/cwt., which was $9.51 more than the previous month, according to USDA. The average dressed steer price in the beef was $179.02 (delivered), which was $19.75 more than the previous month.
Wholesale beef values closed lower, minus the steep pitch of recent weeks. Choice boxed beef cutout value was 50¢ lower Thursday afternoon at $235.56/cwt. Select was $2.96 lower at $219.88.
The average dressed steer weight for the week ending May 30 was 891 lbs., which was 3 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 49 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight of 826 lbs. was even with the prior week and 47 lbs. heavier than the previous year.
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Other than fractionally higher in the front three contracts, Soybean futures closed mostly 2¢ to 3¢ lower.