In light trade on Thursday, negotiated cash fed cattle prices were mostly steady with the previous day’s higher prices: mainly around $120/cwt. on a live basis and at $180-$190 in the beef.
Recent strength in cash prices added firmness to Cattle futures Thursday, amid light trade.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 46¢ higher (7¢ to 92¢ higher).
Except for 2¢ higher in two contracts, Feeder Cattle futures closed unchanged to 37¢ lower.
On average, analysts surveyed by Urner Barry and reported by the Daily Livestock Report, expect April placements to be 22.9% less than a year earlier, April marketings to be 25.4% less and cattle on feed to be 5% less, for feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity. The monthly Cattle on Feed report is due out Friday afternoon.
Wholesale beef values continue to decline as packing capacity continues to return (see below).
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $2.23 lower Thursday afternoon at $401.81/cwt. Select was $8.65 lower at $382.53.
The average dressed steer weight was 896 lbs. the week ending May 9, according to USDA’s weekly Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report. That was 3 lbs. heavier than the previous week and 44 lbs. heavier than the same week last year. The average dressed heifer weight was 829 lbs., which was 3 lbs. heavier than the prior week and 35 lbs. heavier than the previous year.
Corn futures closed fractionally lower to 1¢ lower.
Soybean futures closed 7¢ to 11¢ lower through Jan ’21 and then mostly 1¢ to 3¢ lower.