Negotiated cash fed cattle prices finished last week $2 higher in Nebraska on a live basis at $132/cwt. and $2-$4 higher at $132 in the Southern Plains and the western Corn Belt. Fed cattle in Colorado also sold for $132, but there’s been no trend reported in that region for some time. Dressed prices were $3-$5 higher at $207.
Through Thursday, the five-area direct average steer price was $131.35/cwt. on a live basis, which was $3.23 more than the previous week. The five-area average steer price in the beef was $4.55 higher at $206.60.
“This week’s five-area weighted average price is the highest price since June 2017 and the first week the price has exceeded $130 since that same time period,” explained Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee, in his weekly market comments. “The spring price peak in 2017 was just over $144/cwt., but the spring price spike was short lived. The difference in today’s market is that the market is in a position to sustain prices in excess of $130 for several months. Fed cattle prices are not likely to spike, but methodically increase.”
Total estimated cattle slaughter last week was 655,000 head, which was 5,000 head more than the previous week. Year-to-date total estimated cattle slaughter of 28.9 million head was 844,000 head more (+3.0%) than the same period a year earlier. Total estimated year-to-date beef production through last week of 23.9 billion lbs. was 601.8 million lbs. more (+2.6%) than a year earlier.
Rallying Corn futures pressured Cattle futures Friday, especially Feeder Cattle.
Live Cattle futures closed an average of 25¢ lower, except for 25¢ higher in spot Dec. They closed an average of 33¢ lower week to week on Friday, except for an average of 27¢ higher in two contracts.
Corn futures faded early-week pressure from the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. On Friday, they closed 5¢ to 7¢ higher through Jly ’22 and then mostly 2¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, they were an average of 18¢ higher through the front six contracts.
Soybean futures rallied higher, helped along by decreased projected yield in the WASDE. They closed 21¢ to 23¢ higher through Aug ’22 and then mostly 10¢ to 17¢ higher. Week to week on Friday, they were an average of 38.4¢ higher through the front six contracts.