Negotiated cash fed cattle trade ended up mostly $1-$2 higher on a live basis last week at $128/cwt. in the South and $129 in the North (up to $131 in the western Corn Belt). Dressed trade was mainly $4 higher at mostly $208.
The 5-area weighted average for fed steers last week was $1.82 higher at $128.96/cwt. Heifers were $1.66 higher on a live basis at $128.61. In the beef, steers were $3.39 higher at $207.64. Heifers were $3.50 higher at $207.59.
Cattle futures closed sharply lower, though, pressured by more feedlot placements than expected in Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Placements in February were 2.20% more than the previous year. The average of estimates ahead of the report projected a decline of about 4%.
“The February placement total is the largest for the month since 2000,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments. “Over the last 12 months, the average feedlot inventory was 11.529 million head, the largest 12-month moving average since January 2000.” See more comments from Peel below.
Live Cattle futures closed an average $1.25 lower (40¢ lower at the back to $2.37 lower in near Jun).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.56 lower (40¢ to $3.35 lower).
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 1¢ to 2¢ higher.
Wholesale beef values were steady on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was 9¢ lower Monday afternoon at $229.00/cwt. Select was 9¢ higher at $218.73.