Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was mostly inactive on light demand in all major cattle feeding regions through Friday afternoon, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service, with too few transactions to trend.
Prices last week were steady on a live basis at $114/cwt. in Kansas, steady to $1 higher in Nebraska at $114, $1-$2 higher in the western Corn Belt at $114-$115. Prices were a touch higher than steady in the Texas Panhandle, with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reporting $114.24 for steers and $114.30 for heifers. Dressed trade was $2 higher in Nebraska and $2-$4 higher in the western Corn Belt at $182.
Cattle futures closed mostly lower Friday with follow-through selling and higher Corn futures prices. That was despite what appears to be fundamental market improvement stemming from higher wholesale beef values and the likelihood for cash fed cattle prices to begin moving higher.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.38 higher Friday afternoon at $229.99/cwt. Select was $1.84 higher at $219.95.
Estimated total cattle slaughter of 624,000 head for the week ending March 20 were 23,000 head fewer (-0.35%) than the previous week and 36,000 head fewer (-5.45%) than the same week a year earlier. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 7.1 million head is 244,000 fewer (-3.3%) than the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date estimated total beef production of 5.97 billion lbs. is 110.2 million lbs. less (-1.81%).
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 75¢ lower (17¢ to $1.25 lower), except for 12¢ higher in the back contract.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.06 lower (62¢ to $2.00 lower).
Corn futures closed 2¢ to 3¢ higher, except for 11¢ and 8¢ higher in the front two contracts.
Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 24¢ higher through Jan ‘22, and then mostly 5¢ to 6¢ higher.