Negotiated cash fed cattle trade was limited on light to moderate demand in Colorado and the western Corn Belt through Friday afternoon. Elsewhere, trade ranged from a standstill to mostly inactive on very light demand, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
For the week, established trade was steady on a live basis at $114/cwt. in the Southern Plains and Northern Plains. Dressed trade in Nebraska was $2 lower at $180. The previous week, live sales in the western Corn Belt were at $114, with dressed trade at $182.
Total estimated cattle slaughter the week ending March 6 was 665,000 head, which was 1,000 head fewer than the previous week. Year-to-date estimated total cattle slaughter of 5.83 million head is 213,000 head fewer (-3.52%) than the same period last year. Estimated beef production so far this year is 4.93 billion lbs., which is 73.8 million lbs. less (-1.48%) year over year.
Cattle futures closed higher Friday, supported by higher outside markets and despite the increase in grain futures. Perhaps support also included expectations that cash fed cattle prices next week will likely edge higher, given the dearth of cash purchases by packers the past two weeks.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 59¢ higher.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.48 higher (5¢ to $2.50 higher), except for 50¢ lower in spot Mar.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.55 lower Friday afternoon at $231.33/cwt. Select was 83¢ lower at $220.85.
Grain futures closed higher Friday, likely supported by positioning ahead of the next World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates due out Tuesday.
Corn futures closed 11¢ to 15¢ higher in the front three contracts, and then mostly 3¢ to 5¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed mostly 10¢ to 19¢ higher.