Negotiated cash fed cattle prices were sharply lower in the Southern Plains on Thursday at $105/cwt., which was $13 less than the bulk of the previous week’s trade. For the week, established live prices in the North are $3-$4 lower than the previous week at $109-$117 in Nebraska and at mostly $110 in the western Corn Belt. Dressed prices for the week are steady to $10 lower at $175-$185.
Cattle futures faded the softer cash prices, though, with support including the weekly U.S. Export Sales report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Net sales of 12,300 metric tons of beef for the week ending May 28 were 7% more than the previous week and 97% more than the prior four-week average. Increased beef export sales were mostly to South Korea, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, and China.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 86¢ higher, from 27¢ higher in spot Jun to $1.12 higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average 89¢ higher, from 50¢ higher in spot Aug to $1.17 higher at the back.
Wholesale beef values continue to plunge, adjusting back to more normal fundamentals. Choice boxed beef cutout value was $23.64 lower Thursday afternoon at $272.26/cwt. Select was $16.37 lower at $260.41.
Total fed cattle slaughter for the week ending May 23 was 444,378 head, which was 51,816 head more (+13.2%) than the previous week and the most since the first week of April, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. Total cattle slaughter of 571,506 head was 52,383 head more (+10.1%) than the prior week and the most since the first week of April. Compared to the prior year, though, fed cattle slaughter was still 14.5% less and total cattle slaughter was 11.6% less.
The average dressed steer weight for the week was 894 lbs., which was 6 lbs. lighter than the previous week, but 52 lbs. more than the same week a year earlier. The average dressed heifer weight of 826 lbs. was 5 lbs. less than the previous week, but 41 lbs. heavier than the prior year.
The lowest U.S. Dollar since March supported Grain futures.
Corn futures closed 3¢ to 5¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 14¢ higher.