Although too few to trend, negotiated cash fed cattle trade continued Thursday across a broad range, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Live sales were reported in the Southern Plains at $95-$96/cwt., $95-$100 in the western Corn Belt and $93.75-$95.00 in Nebraska. Dressed prices ranged from $147 to $160.
Live Cattle futures continued to firm, though, perhaps with hopes that capacity returns to beef packing sooner rather than later (see below), given the previous day’s Executive Order mandating that meat packing and processing facilities remain open.
Other than $4.40 higher in expiring spot Apr, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 70¢ higher, (15¢ higher at the back to $1.67 higher in new spot Jun), except for 2¢ lower in away Apr.
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.56 lower, (37¢ lower in expiring spot Apr to $1.95 lower).
Wholesale beef values climbed by double digits again.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $10.18 higher Thursday afternoon at a $367.56/cwt. Select was $10.25 higher at $350.16.
The average dressed steer weight for the week ending Apr. 18 was 889 lbs., which was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 32 lbs. heavier than the previous year, according to USDA’s Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. The average dressed heifer weight was 823 lbs., which was 3 lbs. less than the prior week but 24 lbs. heavier than the same week a year earlier.
Beef production for the week was 395.6 million lbs., which was 36 million lbs. fewer than the prior week (-8.34%) and 118 million lbs. less (-22.98%) than the same week last year.
Weekly export sales added support to grain markets Thursday. Net corn export sales were 87% more than the previous week, led by Mexico, and 19% more than the prior four-week average, according to the U.S. Weekly Export Salesreport from UADA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Net soybean export sales were noticeably higher than the previous week, led by China, and noticeably higher than the prior four-week average.
Corn futures closed 4¢ to 7¢ higher in the front three contracts and then 2¢ to 3¢ higher.
Soybean futures closed 12¢ to 18¢ higher through Jan ’21 and then mostly 5¢ to 8¢ higher.