Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was at a standstill in the Southern Plains through Friday afternoon. Elsewhere, it was limited on light demand with too few transactions to trend, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
For the week, live prices were $1-$2 higher at $115/cwt. in the Southern Plains and $116 in the Northern Plains. Dressed trade was $2-$3 higher in Nebraska at $185. Trade was yet to be established in the western Corn Belt, according to AMS, but various reports suggested trade in the region at as much as $3 higher than the previous week.
Cattle futures continued to edge higher Friday, buoyed by the week’s stronger cash prices and wholesale beef values.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 36¢ higher, except for 20¢ lower in the back contract.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of 39¢ higher, from 15¢ higher toward the back to 90¢ higher in spot Apr.
Choice boxed beef value was $1.21 higher Friday afternoon at $237.66/cwt. Select was $1.52 higher at $227.77.
Estimated total cattle slaughter the week ending Mar. 26 was 646,000 head, according to USDA. That was 19,000 head more than the previous week, but 39,000 head fewer (-5.69%) than the same week a year earlier. Estimated total year-to-date cattle slaughter of 7.75 million head was 278,000 head fewer (-3.46%) than the same time last year. Estimated year-to-date beef production of 6.50 billion lbs. was 143.1 million lbs. less (-2.15%).
Corn futures closed mostly 1¢ higher, except for 3¢ and 6¢ higher at either end of the board.
Soybean futures closed 6¢ to 13¢ lower through the front six contracts, and then mostly 2¢ higher.