Live Cattle futures edged higher Thursday, supported by higher wholesale beef values. Live Cattle closed an average of 25¢ higher, except for 10¢ lower in the back contract.
Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ranged from slow with light to moderate demand in the North to mostly inactive with very light demand in the South through Thursday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Although too few to trend, there were some early live sales in Nebraska at $185/cwt. and $188 in the western Corn Belt. There were a few dressed sales in Nebraska at $294.00-$296.50.
Last week, live prices were $185/cwt. in the Texas Panhandle, $186 in Kansas, $189-$192 in Nebraska and $190 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices were $300 in Nebraska and $298-$300 in the western Corn Belt.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $3.01 higher Thursday afternoon at $342.07/cwt. Select was 32¢ higher at $309.58/cwt.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.53 lower, pressured by significantly higher Corn futures prices and the related stall to improving conditions.
According to the latest weekly U.S. Drought Monitor (beginning June 13), drought conditions existed in 25% of the continental U.S. versus 22% a week earlier. For the same time period, 42% of cattle inventory was affected by the drought, which was 2% more than the previous week and 6% more than two weeks earlier.